HISTORY OF THE ILLUMINATION OF NIAGARA FALLS
Lighting the Falls to allow visitors to enjoy the beauty of the mighty Niagara even at night, was first attempted in 1860. About 200 colored and white calcium, volcanic and torpedo lights were placed along the banks above and below the American Falls, on the road down the bank of the Canadian side of the gorge and behind the water of the Horseshoe Falls. The lights were called Bengal lights and were the kind used at sea to signal for help or give warning.
Illumination of the Falls using electricity first occurred in January 1879, during a visit by the Marquis of Lorne, Governor General of Canada and his wife Princess Louise. The lights had an illumination power of 32,000 candles, just a fraction of the intensity used today.
A 36-horsepower generating station in Prospect Park, Niagara Falls, New York, operated in July 1879 with 16 open arc lamps each projecting 2,000 candlepower.
In May 1892, Frank LeBlond, one of the owners of the Maid of the Mist, bought a 4,000 candlepower light and placed it on the Canadian dock of the Maid of the Mist to light the American Falls. He placed gelatin plates in front of the lights to provide a variety of colors.
In 1907, W. D’Arcy Ryan of the General Electric Company designed lighting that provided far more power than ever before. Thirty-six projectors illuminated the Falls with a combined candlepower of 1,115,000,000.
For more than a decade after that, different attempts were made to raise financing to install permanent lighting. Some efforts were prevented by the First World War, but in 1925, a group of interested businessmen finally created the Niagara Falls Illumination Board, to finance, operate and maintain a new, permanent illumination system. Today’s contributing members are the Cities of Niagara Falls, New York and Ontario, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Ontario Power Generation and The Niagara Parks Commission.
The Board’s first installation in 1925 was twenty-four carbon searchlights each 26 inches in diameter, emitting a total of 1,320,000,000 candlepower. The Falls have been illuminated most nights since that time ~ except during World War II when the lights were turned off to conserve power and during subsequent years when generating facilities could not keep pace with electrical requirements of the construction boom. It was not until January 1950 that the Illumination Board was able to guarantee enough power to operate the lights on a regular basis.
In 1997 and 1998, new fixtures replaced the outdated lamps and fixtures at the Illumination Tower, doubling the intensity of the lights on the Falls without doubling the hydro bills. A total of 21 Xenon lights, each with a 76-cm (30 in) diameter, were used to illuminate the Falls in a rainbow of colors. Eighteen were located at the Illumination Tower (see background foto) and three were located in the gorge. Each of the Xenon spotlights produced more than 390 million peak beam and had a brilliance of 250 million candlepower.
On Dec 01, 2016, a $4 million new system featuring more than 100 panels of LED lights were lit for the first time (yes, I was there :-) ). It provides twice the power of the old Xenon spotlights while using 60% less energy. They allow for a wider colour combination and the brightness and placing of the panels results in a more consistent lighting effect, Even through and around the Falls mist. The panels are placed on the Illumination tower, on the roof of Table Rock centre and in the old hydro building in the gorge across from the American Falls.
The Falls are illuminated nightly until 10 p.m. January through April, and until midnight the rest of the year. In recent years the only occasion the Falls were in darkness was for a few evenings in August 2003 when the lights were turned off to support recovery efforts during a major North American black-out.
Special color Nights see link: https://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/niagara-falls-illumination.html
This is a high volume tourist cache. TB's or coins might not be in the cache since not every tourist has a smartphone or laptop to log, they might wait until they are back in their home country. Sorry, I can't help that. I will mark a TB or coin as "missing" when it has not logged out in a few weeks and other cachers tell me that it is not in the cache anymore. You might find a just dropped of TB or coin which is not on the cache page.