The Crowning Jewel



The Crowning Jewel Effect

1998 heralded the appearance of a new "star" over San Francisco. Locally based Phoebus Manufacturing has designed a sparkling new "crowning jewel" for the 50-story Transamerica Pyramid, worldwide symbol of the City by the Bay.

Utilizing a 6000 watt HMI source and incorporating two concentric internal carousels, one for dichroic* color and one for flicker effects, the twinkling "jewel" is visible from around the city and across the Bay.

The 22" high by 26" diameter unit is custom-crafted in anodized aluminum and includes a hydraulic actuator to raise and lower the device in the tight space at the tip of the building. The actuator provides for variation of effect as well as ease of servicing. Carousel speed is controlled via a standard DMX512 digital control signal.

The Transamerica unit is operated via the building's main environmental control computer which stores and replays its various chromatic/kinetic combinations.

Before installation, Phoebus designers and engineers built a full-scale mock-up at their San Francisco manufacturing facility for testing and demonstration purposes.

The "crowning jewel" at the tip of the pyramid conforms to all UL and FAA regulations. Phoebus Manufacturing built a smaller 575w demonstration unit that was on view at the LDI Trade Show in Las Vegas.


The Crowning Jewel Effect is available on a custom design basis utilizing up to an 18,000w HMI source.


* "Dichroic" is defined as the property of having more than one color, especially when viewed from different angles. Dichroic glass is a high-tech spin-off of the space industry. Thin layers of metallic oxides, such as titanium, silicon, and magnesium are deposited upon the surface of the glass in a high temperature, vacuum furnace.

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