Fremont Street Experience Light and Sound Show

Fremont Street Experience Logo

Fremont Street Experience Light and Sound Show
Is A Modern Technological Marvel

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Beginning in December (1995), the much-anticipated Fremont Street Experience project will "turn up the wattage" in downtown Las Vegas every night with spectacular, computer-generated light and sound shows.

However, there's much more to bringing the unique shows to life than simply flipping a switch. In fact, the components forming the Fremont Street Experience Light and Sound Show together comprise a modern technological and engineering marvel, the only one of its kind found anywhere in the world.

With a depth of five feet and a curved radius of 44 feet, the space frame towers 90 feet above a four-block section of Fremont Street -- between Main and Fourth streets, a distance equal to 4.62 football fields -- and serves as the display system for the shows. The space frame's interior surface covers more than 175,700 square feet, an area equal to slightly more than four acres. A section comprising one-fiftieth of the total space frame equals the size of the world's current largest electronic sign. Holding the space frame aloft are 16 columns, each weighing 26,000 pounds and each capable of bearing 400,000 pounds, and 43,000 struts.

Filled with 2.1 million bulbs, the space frame is unofficially the world's largest graphics display system, said Steve Weeks, assistant division manager with Young Electric Sign Company in Las Vegas, the contractor that fabricated and installed the display system.

"This is the biggest project the Young Electric Sign Company has ever worked on in its 75-year history," Weeks said.

Not only is the number of bulbs impressive, but their power potential is incredible. If all the lights were turned on at full power simultaneously, the output would equal 7.8 megawatts, or millions of watts, of energy, Weeks said.

Each bulb is equal to a single pixel in a television picture tube, and like a TV pixel, each bulb contains red, blue, green and clear lamps. Combined with 8 shades of dimming, the entire display is capable of producing 65,536 color combinations, Weeks said.

In addition to the millions of bulbs, within the space frame structure are 180 computer-programmed high-intensity strobe lights, 64 variable color lighting fixtures that can produce 300 colors, and four robotic mirrors per block that can be individually programmed to pan and tilt to reflect light during the shows.

Accompanying the light display is a sound show second to none anywhere on the planet. A total of ~08 speakers are mounted within the space frame that can produce a combined 540,000 watts of concert-quality sound and music.

Running the light and sound show are 31 computers, including 30 within the space frame, and a single master computer. Combined, the computers contain 100 gigabytes of storage -- comparable to about 250 personal home computers, Weeks said.

Eventually, the Fremont Street Experience will have a library of several shows with interchangeable images that can be tailored for special events and different holiday seasons.

Observed from street level, the breathtaking shows appear deceivingly simple. But the complex technology and special craftsmanship behind them make the Fremont Street Experience a must-see, one-of-a-kind attraction in a city brimming with entertainment.


In June 2004 Fremont Street upgraded its graphic display system to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) from incandescent bulb technology. The upgrade increases the screen resolution from 2596 x 184 pixels to 7552 x 552. The display now includes more than 12.5 million energy-efficient LEDs with a resolution that utilizes over 16.7 million color combinations creating eye-catching and intense visual images. The higher resolution was achived by decreasing the space between each pixel from 6.2 to 2.0 inches and increasing the number of pixels by 3.5 million.

Here is a comparison of the old system to the new system
Incandescent Display (1995) LED Digital Video Display (2004)
1.9 million incandescent bulbs12.5 million LED lamps
477,664 pixels4.1 million pixels
65,536 colors16.7 million colors
360GB of storage9,600GB of storage
7.8 million watts at full power2.2 million watts maximum
1.1 million watts minimum
5,000-hour estimated lamp life50,000-hour estimated lamp life
2,596 * 184 resolution7,552 * 552 resolution
32 levels of luminosity256 levels of luminosity
6.2-in. pixel pitch2-in. pixel pitch

The Fremont Street Experience downtown revitalization project is a joint effort of the City of Las Vegas and the Fremont Street Experience Limited Liability Company, a coalition of 9 downtown hotels -- Binion's Gambling Hall, California Hotel & Casino, The D Las Vegas, Four Queens Hotel and Casino, Fremont Hotel & Casino, Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, Golden Nugget Las Vegas and Main Street Station Casino, Brewery & Hotel. Funding is derived from the 9 downtown hotels, room tax revenues, city redevelopment funds, and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Fremont Street Experience
Information provided by the Fremont Street Experience - Las Vegas (1995)