Frequently Asked Questions

March 15, 2015

What is Spireworks?

A web-based interactive experience that allows individual access and control to dynamic architectural lighting installations.

Where can I see it?

There are many places to view Spireworks in the New York City area, so long as the participating buildings are visible on the skyline and it's after sunset and before 2:00 AM EST/EDT.

What can I do?

Each participant is given a two minute session to choose trigger color changes and dynamic effects.

Beta users can invite a limited number of additional users by email.

How many colors are available?

The lighting fixtures provide an enormous range of colors, but not all look good or look good together. Every night a palette is assigned which limits the color options to a preselected group. These colors can be applied by pushing up or pushing down colors onto segments of the installations or by simply fade all the fixtures to a color simultaneously.

What dynamic effects are available?

There are buttons for triggering pulses and sprites which stand out from the background color. They can be triggered individually or in bursts based on what button is pressed.

What happens if there's more than one person?

Each installation will allow for a small number of concurrent users. This is to allow for collaborative and competitive play. If there are more than a few active users, a queue will be formed and users will have to wait until their turn begins. If you end up in a queue, a waiting time will be shown to let you know when your session will begin. As our user base grows we will work to optimize the queue and session times.

How do I get access?

To become a user, you must be invited by someone who is already in the private beta program. Each user gets a limited number of invites.

Guests can use Spireworks for the duration of an event and are not required to create an account.

At this time, there is no sign up available to the general public. Access is by invitation only.

What do I after being invited?

An invitation email will be sent to your email address. You'll need to follow the link in the invite email and create an account by entering a new password. Once that's done, login with the password.

If you are a guest user, just follow the special url in the access notification email.

How do I use it?

Use Spireworks on a smartphone or tablet that's connected to the internet through WiFi or cellular data network. For best results, be sure to have a good view of the installations. This can be either indoors or outdoors, so long as you have a line of sight. If you're a beta user, you'll need to login and then select an installation to control.

What buildings are available?

The architectural spire on top of One Bryant Park has 148 fixtures ~300 feet tall and topping out at ~1200 feet in height.

The broadcast antennae on top of Four Times Square has 220 fixtures ~416 feet tall and topping out at ~1149 feet in height.

What kind of lights are being used?

The lights are RGB LED lights that can be changed dynamically over a network.

What kind of software makes this possible?

Spireworks is comprised of several applications that work together. The web portion is a Ruby on Rails application. The other system components are built using Clojure.

When did it start?

The Alpha launched December 10th, 2010, the same day the first two associated installations began nightly operation.

What can Spireworks consider for proposals?

Public Awareness Campaigns

Charitable Fundraising

Commercial Sponsorship

Rooftop/Skyline Venues

Who made Spireworks possible?

The Durst Organization Inc.

Created and Designed by Mark Domino

Stack Builders Inc.

Barbizon Electric Company

Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design

Fred Geller Electrical

How do I find out more about Spireworks?

Follow @spireworks on Twitter or email us at