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    Light Your World Blog

    Lighting Renovation Blends the Old with the New at Historic Ghirardelli Square

    December 16, 2021
    Our Color Kinetics lighting system has revitalized San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square Marquee in the iconic Fisherman’s Wharf.
    Ghirardelli Square
    Photo credits: Dennis Stanworth Photography

    Nestled under a cloud of perpetual fog, San Francisco has been voted one of the best cities in the United States. Of its many iconic landmarks, the historic Ghirardelli Square sits along the city’s bayside near the famous Fisherman’s Wharf.


    A chocolate factory in its former life, Ghirardelli Square has a history that spans more than a century; it evolved into the retail/dining complex we recognize today during the 1960s. Despite sporadic repairs over the years, the Ghirardelli Square sign, originally built in 1915, needed an upgrade. And Signify was happy to deliver our own iconic, color-changing architectural lighting!

    Ghirardelli Square
    Photo credits: Dennis Stanworth Photography

    We collaborated with architect Page and Turnbull and lighting designer Arrow Signage as well as the Historic Preservation Commission and San Francisco Planning Department, to create a sign that would preserve the square’s rich heritage, while providing a modern flexible light display. The original sign was removed and replicated letter by letter with laser scans to maintain its authenticity and historical details. Once finished, Color Kinetics iColor Flex LMX gen2 luminaires (now specified with Flex Compact gen 3, RGB) were used to retrofit the sign. Our system offers uniform, high-quality white, pastel and saturated color light options. Now, Ghirardelli Square can continue to illuminate the bayside in its traditional bright white, while also dazzling the community with color during special events and celebrations.


    Additionally, these luminaires utilize the latest LED technology to help maximize the square’s energy efficiency and support its sustainability objectives. Coupled with a longer life cycle, our fixtures will enable Ghirardelli Square to wow visitors for decades to come.


    “We required a durable system that could withstand the harsh, salt air environment. The Color Kinetics fixtures met that challenge perfectly,” said Charlie Stroud, President of Arrow Sign Company. “Not only that, the solution offered complete lighting control while allowing us to maintain the historical fixture and aesthetic, thus providing a modern adaptation of this iconic display. And Signify’s technical support throughout the design and install was exceptional.”

    Learn more about this project here.
    Ghirardelli Square
    Photo credits: Dennis Stanworth Photography

    Project credits:

    Client: Jamestown Property

    Lighting Designer: Charlie Stroud, Arrow Sign Company


    Architect: Page and Turnbull


    Julie Reece
    Julie Reece

    Post tags

    Color Kinetics, LED luminaires, San Francisco, landmark lighting, Color Kinetics iColorBlast Flex LMX gen2, Color Kinetics Flex Compact gen 3, Ghirardelli Square

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