Tsutenkaku Tower to get LEDs

Kyodo

Hitachi Ltd. will replace most neon lights for its advertisements on Osaka’s signature Tsutenkaku Tower with light-emitting diodes in a bid to cut electricity consumption by half and contribute to nationwide energy-saving efforts.

The LED system, to be lit up starting Oct. 28, will display a greater array of colors and also serve as a bulletin board, displaying slogans and messages selected from public entries.

The current neon signs are set to be switched off Wednesday for construction work beginning July 1, Hitachi said.

The company’s neon ads, which cover the four sides of the 103-meter-tall tourist attraction, date back to 1957 and are usually renewed every five to six years. The last renewal was in 2006.

The original tower, built in 1912, was destroyed in a fire during World War II.

Lights showing the weather forecasts with different colors are placed at the top of the current tower.

Companies across the nation have been stepping up efforts to reduce electricity use to avert possible power shortages, as a number of nuclear reactors remain suspended amid safety concerns after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.