Thursday, December 11, 2008

Variety Lights Up



I took a momentary break from my all-Jay-Leno-all-the-time coverage to join in the Wednesday night festivities formally welcoming Variety to its new 5900 Wilshire home.

City Councilman Tom LaBonge said a few words -- and handed a loaf of pumpkin bread from Hollywood's Monastery of the Angels (it's famously LaBonge's calling card) to 5900 Wilshire developer Wayne Ratkovich.

Ratkovich spent $34 million renovating the skyscraper, which as of last night now features a fully-lit Variety logo on the top, facing north and south.



Also attending the sign lighting: L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart and Variety publisher Neil Stiles.

Variety has more here. The building, meanwhile, noted a few facts about the sign:
Size of the Variety Sign: Overall layout is 11.6 ft. x 44.2 ft. with the ‘V’ being 11.6 ft. and the remaining letters at approx 8 ft. in height.

Weighing the Variety Sign Letters: The ‘V’ is the heaviest letter at approximately 300 lbs, not including the ‘V’ swoosh that was fabricated in sections and assembled on the building. Letters were kept as light as possible using all aluminum construction and no steel framing. Also, LED lights were used to illuminate the sign, which is much lighter than neon components.

Hanging the Variety Sign: It took three crew workers two weeks to haul the fourteen sign letters for the north and south side signs to the top of the 31-story tower, install them and complete wiring and test illumination.

Lighting the Variety Sign: Signs are illuminated with red mini LEDs from SloanLED, Inc. Each set of letters utilizes approximately 1400 LEDs and 15 power 60 watt power supplies, or about 900watts (7.5 amps at 120v). In comparison, neon illumination would have required approximately eight and a half times the power or about 64-70 amps. LEDs are also more energy efficient than neon lighting.

The building had previously sported a sign for People's Bank on the west and east sides; those letters came down a year or so ago.

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