2nd Street Tunnel-Enhancing an Iconic Location with Light

Los Angeles, CA
Project Details:
  • Categories:
  • Color Changing LED
  • Entertainment Lighting

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 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.