This weekend, the top tier of the Empire State Building lights up in rainbow colors with sparkle in halo in honor of New York City Pride Week. The iconic building is privately owned by Empire State Building Company, L.L.C. (ESBC); it is not owned or run by the City or State of New York. According to the Empire State Building official website, its official Lighting Partner program was established after the prior managing agent was replaced in August 2006. Its policies and practices are subject to change in accord with ownership's preferences. In November 2012, the Empire State Building (ESB) replaced its traditional light fixtures as part of its 21st century renovation and unveiled its new, state-of-the-art dynamic LED lighting system, designed by Philips Color Kinetics (PCK). This system, which is unique to ESB, allows customized light capabilities from a palette of over 16 million colors in limitless combinations along with effects previously not possible such as ripples, cross-fades, sparkles, chasers, sweeps, strobes and bursts. In addition to greater control and management of the lighting, the new computerized system delivers superior light and vibrancy levels in real-time, unlike the previous floodlights. The new lighting system minimizes light spill, ensuring that light is focused on the façade and mast, while providing enough light to allow the building to be seen from anywhere in New York City. This feature not only respects the night sky, but the building's neighbors as well.
The rainbow colors reflect the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and a symbol of pride and solidarity. Pride week festivities kicked off yesterday, culminating in the Pride March tomorrow. New York City is the U.S. city with the largest gay population.