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The Empire State Building Light-Show Decoder


Before the Empire State Building replaced its floodlights with computerized LEDs in November, changing the bulbs was a six-hour task and color options were limited to just ten. The new system allows for over 16 million color combinations. Organizations can request lighting programs, which also change for holidays and other milestones, though the meaning behind the hues is often lost on skyline watchers. Here, a guide to the new display’s first four months.

Photographs: Courtesy of Corey Johnson/What Color Is The Empire State Building

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