The 2nd Street Tunnel, Enhancing an Iconic Location with Light

    Watch this webinar to understand the unique lighting story behind the 2nd Street Tunnel in the USA.

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    Key topics and learnings


    Originally built to relieve notorious Los Angeles traffic congestion, the 2nd Street Tunnel is one of the most photographed tunnels in the world that no one has ever heard of. Because of its location in the heart of Los Angeles and the film community this tunnel has been the location whenever a tunnel is needed for all types of production from Film and Television to Music Videos and Commercials. Lots of popular blockbuster films used this tunnel as background scene.


    The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting who operates the tunnel wanted to create space at the tunnel’s entrance that would provide more flexible and dramatic lighting options for film production and engage Los Angeles residents. This evolved from the primary part of the project which was to re-create  the historic white lighting in the main tunnel updating it from metal halide to LED. To meet these objectives they teamed up with Forman and Associates to achieve these two seemingly opposite goals.


    The idea was to simultaneously recreate historical lighting and provide dramatic color lighting inside the west end entrance of the tunnel. The white, ‘stepped’ columns located in that section of the tunnel serve as a perfect canvas on which to display dynamic colorful light. The rest of the tunnel would use historically accurate luminaires to create the white light needed for traffic in the main tunnel.


    After starting on the white light portion of the project Forman & Associates was asked to support an enhancement to the project at the entrance to the tunnel. Work began on specifying fixtures on the west end of the tunnel where large white columns resided. The idea was discussed to implement color on this entrance area to the tunnel.


    The reaction from the City of Los Angeles and the public has been amazing and very positive. The entertainment production community is very anxious to begin using the new lighting system when filming in the 2nd Street Tunnel, and it will lead to increased revenue for the City of Los Angeles in filming permits. This is a project that everyone involved with will look back on with pride in the years to come.


    Listen to Brian Ellsworth and Peter Rogers to learn how this project was done and how you start such a  project. What were the challenges and opportunities ? And how do you work together with the city of Los Angeles to discuss designs and layouts? How does the city and its citizens benefit from this?


    So a lot to learn and inspire in this webinar. Please join us..


    Learning objectives:


    • What does it take to meet the needs of traffic and production?
    • Which design criteria do you have to take into account and what did the film and production community need?
    • Communicating the design intent – Creating a rendering of the project to get buy-in from stakeholders
    • Learn more about planning and executing the installation
    • Integrating a lighting system into the operation of the Bureau of Street Lighting (Los Angeles)
    • Learning from the results

    Presented by

    Brian Ellsworth
    Brian Ellsworth
    Lighting Specification Sales Associate
    at Forman & Associates
    Peter Rogers
    Peter Rogers
    Sales Manager
    at Forman and Associates
    Zouhair Shehab

    Zouhair Shehab 

    Project Manager,

    Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting 



    Brian Ellsworth is in his ninth year with Forman & Associates. Previously he worked in the electrical distribution industry for twenty-five years. His passion for lighting was developed while working as a light fixture consultant for set decorators and art departments in the major motion picture and television industry in Los Angeles in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. This introduced him to a wide variety of lighting companies and fixture types. His work at Forman has lead to industry relationships with a wide variety of creative people in lighting design, architecture, universities, and the major studios in Los Angeles. He considers it a privilege to work on projects that are inspirational and lead to community engagement with landmark locations.



    Peter Rogers has worked with Forman and Associates for more than 10  years working on a wide range of projects including most recently Los Angeles City Hall using Color Kinetics.  Prior to joining Forman and Associates he worked with the entertainment product group with Signify for over 30 years as the Global Entertainment Marketing Director. Work with Signify included renovations of major theatrical venues around the world as well as large broadcast facilities. Early work included theatrical lighting design across North America.



    Zouhair Shehab, has been working for the City of Los Angeles for the past 15 years. He started his career with the Bureau of Street Lighting as a young graduate and started designing tunnel lighting from the beginning of his professional career. His many exciting tunnel projects include 3rd Street Tunnel in DTLA, LAX World Airport Tunnel, Sepulveda Mulholland Tunnel, and many more lighting underpasses & bridges throughout the City of Los Angeles. Being able to add 2nd Street Tunnel to his portfolio is a blessing along with an amazing feeling referencing the light shows to his friends, family, & colleagues while watching movies, music videos, etc. He says that it has been a pleasure working with Signify and Forman & Associates as they accomplished the design and construction and witnessed the finished product together.

    Prime Hein
    Prime Hein
    Electrical Engineer
    at Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting 



    Born and raised in Myanmar (Burma), Prime P. Hein immigrated to the United States at the age of 15. In the early days of arrival, he has struggled with a lot of obstacles such as language barrier, culture shock and financial burden. Early mornings and late nights are a norm in his schedule. During his academic journey, he gained experiences not only through internships but also from volunteering opportunities. With proper support and enough resources, he graduated with Electrical Engineering degrees (Bachelor in 2018 and Master in 2020) from California State University – Los Angeles. Now, he is in his 2nd year, “the youngest to achieve his PE license and ICC certification”, working for the City of Los Angeles – Bureau of Street Lighting. He is privileged to be one of the engineers of an iconic landmark: 2nd St. Tunnel modernization project.

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