Miraflores Visitor Center of Panama Canal Illuminated with Acclaim LED Lighting

At the Miraflores Visitor Center, visitors watch ships journey down the famous Panama Canal. Miraflores is the name of the small lake that separates the locks from the Pedro Miguel Locks upstream and it serves as one of the three locks that form part of the 51-mile Panama Canal. In the Miraflores locks, five-million-ton vessels rise and drop more than 50 feet as they make their way through the Panama Canal that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

To enhance the waterway experience, the Miraflores Visitor Center features a multi-level museum with four exhibit halls, interactive displays, a fully equipped theater, a restaurant with a panoramic view, and three open-air terraces for close-up observations of ships transiting through the locks.

The observation decks give visitors a birds-eye view of the canal in action through which more than 13,000 boats travel each year.
The Panama Canal Authority (PCA), an agency of the government of Panama responsible for operating and managing of the Canal, wanted to make the Center as impressive at night as it was during the day. Specifically, the PCA wanted to emphasize the approximately 160-foot-wide and 60-foot-high exterior facade of the Visitor Center’s entrance at night with vibrant, precise light.

Luxeon High Power

Dramatic Architectural Design Visible in Daylight Hours

During daylight hours, visitors can clearly see a centered, large, four-story rectangle window with a semicircle top highlighted by bold white framing that dramatically balances the visual impact of the tan flat exterior surface. The PCA wanted to make sure the entrance was equally enthralling at night.

Miraflores Visitor Center of the Panama Canal

Acclaim supplied LED lighting for Miraflores Visitor Center of the Panama Canal

With the current lighting near the end of its performance life, Acclaim Lighting representative, LDA Incorporado of Puerto Rico, chose potential exterior lighting for the façade entrance. The company selected Acclaim Lighting’s Dyna Drum HO as the best-suited light sources based on its ability to produce precise illumination and project intense, robust colors to emphasize the façade without the colors bleeding over onto the building’s distinct window fame.

Miraflores Mockup Tested Dyna Drum HO’s Light Distribution

Acclaim Lighting’s California based team worked with LDA Incorporado to create a mock-up. As a result of the mockup, PCA chose LDA Incorporado and Acclaim Lighting to provide the solution, due to the product performance, reliability, and Acclaim Lighting’s technical support capabilities.

Based on their findings from mockup tests, the team specified Dyna Drum HO from Acclaim Lighting in Los Angeles. During the tests, the Dyna Drum HO, a high power, and high effiency floodlight, provided distinct bright colors with no shadows and precise light distribution. Its quad color chip gives the floodlight excellent color mixing, to produce colors and pastels and dynamic white from the same fixture.

System Features Onboard DMX+RDM Driver

An onboard DMX+RDM driver with Acclaim’s Aria wireless DMX technology and rear OLED display with full-text readout enable users to design and implement color schemes. Also, a single hybrid cable carries both power and data for the device.

To precisely project the color designs on and around the centerpiece window, Dyna Drum HO uses optics with standard beam angle of 10º degrees, and the optics allows an optional quick-change from 20°, 40°, 60°, 10° x 60° spread lens options for wider light distribution applications. Additionally, the HO luminaire comes with an IP66 rating for wet applications and features a die-cast aluminum housing with glass top lens. An optional marine coating makes it rugged enough for even the harshest outdoor environments.

Ultimately, Eleven Dyna Drum HO units were positioned in front of the entrance with the approval of the Administrator of the Panama Canal to deliver a unique color wash over the entrance, producing a distinctive nighttime effect.