LED election results to light up Empire State Building

New Yorkers with a view of the Empire State Building will be able to follow the election results live as LEDs light up the building's spire.

Empire State Building lights
This preview image shows what the lights will look like. CNN

The top of the Empire State Building isn't just for King Kong anymore. CNN is getting together with New York's iconic tower to display today's election results from way up high.

A vertical LED meter on the spire will visually count up electoral votes for each candidate from more than a quarter mile above the street. Obama and Romney will each get two sides of the tower. Obama's tally will light up in blue while Romney's will light up in red.

I expect this will look a bit like those carnival games at the fair where you have to fill a tube with water from a water gun in order to beat your opponents and win a stuffed white tiger. There's probably a deeper metaphor for the entire presidential election in there somewhere, but I don't want to dig for it.

You don't have to fly to New York City and crane your neck from the sidewalk in order to see what's going on. CNN will show live coverage of the Empire State Building's lights as election results come in. Once a winner is projected, CNN will change the tower lights to all-red or all-blue.

The tower lights of the building have long changed color to coincide with special events. For example, they'll be glowing yellow/orange/yellow to honor the 15th anniversary of the "Lion King" on December 4. The election, however, marks the first time the custom LED panels from Philips will be used. Tonight, at least, the Empire State Building should be giving Broadway a run for its lighting money.

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.


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