More brands from

The commute


with dynamic lighting

San Diego Trolley Station,

California, USA


See how creative lighting converted this commuter rail station into a colorful passageway to San Diego.


As we worked on the project
we realized

that through the use of color-changing lighting, we had the chance to essentially brand the city, The new lighting could extend beyond the station and tie back to city events and happenings, and with the nearby commercial railroad station, we could create a ‘gateway’ to San Diego.”


- Debra Fox (Lighting Designer, LPA Inc. )


Customer Challenge


The trolley center canopy was originally lit with metal halide fixtures that did not provide adequate light for the space below, resulting in safety and security concerns. The maintenance of the fixtures was both labor and cost intensive—often requiring a scissor lift to reach fixtures up to 35 ft (10.7 m) in the air—and disruptive to the trolley service. The lights could sometimes run for up 15 hours resulting in expensive electric bills. Given the safety concerns and costs, it was time to seek an alternative lighting solution.


The right lighting


The design objective for the project was two-fold—to improve the light levels and light uniformity, to increase safety, and to reduce the maintenance and energy costs. The lighting design team  knew that an LED lighting system would achieve both goals. It would also be a way to introduce color-changing light to highlight the architectural design and provide a unique experience for people traveling through the station. As the project progressed, it became clear that the color-changing lighting would also provide another opportunity—to revitalize the city and the whole downtown experience.


To uplight the trolley center canopy, designers utilized a combination of four Philips Color Kinetics ColorBlast Powercore and two iW Blast Powercore fixtures (now specified using ColorBlast IntelliHue Powercore gen4 ) mounted within each of the 12 existing metal shrouds located 35 ft (10.7 ft) above the station which replaced high wattage metal halide uplights.  


The new lighting system has reduced the overall energy consumption by 80%.


ColorBlast Powercore gen4 RGB  


High-performance LED fixtures combine white and rich, saturated, color and color-changing effects with simplified installation

Learn more

ColorBlast IntelliHue Powercore gen4  


Vibrant, controllable color for interior and exterior architectural lighting


Learn more

A travel center
becomes a destination

The Team

Debra Fox & Rebecca Ceballos / LPA Inc.

Lighting Designers

To website


Nick Arambarri / LPA Inc.


To website


The Irvine Company

Project Owner

To website


Suffolk Construction

General Contractor

To website

Dynalectric San Diego

Electrical Contractor

To website

Juan Ceballos and Debra Fox   

Photo Credits


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