Go by Kehinde Wiley - Moynihan Train Hall - 2020

Go is a permanent installation by the artist Kehinde Wiley in Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station. The piece is a stained glass artwork, with LED back-lighting mimicking sunlight to illuminate the glass.

The local fabrication studio handling the structural build of the lighting brought me onto the team to redesign the control systems for the LED lighting as the original design was failing. Other roles that I filled were fabricating and building all of the 96 LED panels and connectors for the panels, as well as leading the assembly of the control systems for the LEDs.

Check out the build documentation below.

Read about the installation in this NY Times article, where these photgraphs by Andrew Moore are from.


Build Documentation

I joined the team at DCM in the beginning of November, with the deadline for the project being the end of the month. The team there had been supplied a recommendation of QTRAN - QTM-DC-500 power supplies by the building engineers and had worked out a system plan to control the LED sheets through Environmental Lighting Studio 4 Channel DMX controllers. I went about building out the LED sheets that illuminate the stained glass.

I assumed that the system had been tested extensively before I joined the team, but when we were nearing to finish assembling the 24 power supply panels (each of which weighed about 125 lbs) we found that the power supplies that had been supplied were not compatible with the system that had been designed. 

A brief rundown of DC power supplies, from Electronics Club:

Types of Power Supply

There are many types of power supply. Most are designed to convert high voltage AC mains electricity to a suitable low voltage supply for electronics circuits and other devices. A power supply can by broken down into a series of blocks, each of which performs a particular function.

For example a 5V regulated supply:

  • Transformer - steps down high voltage AC mains to low voltage AC.

  • Rectifier - converts AC to DC, but the DC output is varying.

  • Smoothing - smooths the DC from varying greatly to a small ripple.

  • Regulator - eliminates ripple by setting DC output to a fixed voltage.

Transformer + Rectifier

The varying DC output is suitable for lamps, heaters and standard motors. It is not suitable for electronic circuits unless they include a smoothing capacitor.

Transformer + Rectifier + Smoothing

The smooth DC output has a small ripple. It is suitable for most electronic circuits.

Transformer + Rectifier + Smoothing + Regulator

The regulated DC output is very smooth with no ripple. It is suitable for all
electronic circuits.

Going back to the Q-TRAN setup, those power supplies were supplying DC power that was not smoothed and or regulated - unsuitable for electronic circuits like the one in the DMX controllers.

Initial design (Faulty, supplied by the building)
After extensive testing and measuring of the Q-TRAN supplies, we decided to forgoe using them and replace them with ERP VLB260W-24V supplies; using two supplies per LED sheet. We also decided to switch to Environmental Lighting DMX-4-5000-3-10A just to cover our bases.


LED Panel Installation Setup