GLS Neon Flex illuminated this large outdoor gateway with control from Pharos Controls LPC controllers.

fulton market gateway - chicago, il

5 Words Media was tapped by M1 Interactive and JR Lighting to design & build the lighting elements to Chicago Department of Transit’s (CDOT) new Fulton Market Gateway identifier.  The 35′ by 80′ sign was a $500K CDOT project as part of a new initiative to revitalize the Fulton Market District in Chicago’s urban downtown district.

The city planners requested a simulated neon fixture look but with LED sources to create the unique transparent light-box effect of the sign. 5WM proposed LED neon flex by GLS as the outdoor rated flexible solution to support the signature look providing an RGB color mixing solution. 

 LEDs were chosen as a source because of their long life expectancy and energy savings over traditional neon sources.  5WM performed photometric studies of the column lighting & face lettering to simulate the final look of the system to get approval for the design prior to any construction taking place.

To control the system, 5WM specified a Pharos architectural control systems LPC controller as the control processor for the system.  The Pharos system’s POE network allows the control system to scale to allow control of additional LEDs and other AV interactive installations along Fulton Street in the coming year.

Once design of the system completed, 5 Words Media was approached by City Lights, Ltd. to install the specified system for CDOT.  Installation took place over an accelerated 3 week schedule where technicians worked with the metal fabricators to mount, wire and terminate all connections offsite and oversee the signs installation at it’s final location at Fulton Street & Halsted Ave.  Onsite programming with the city produced 32 show programs allowing the sign to change its display from season to season as well as special holiday shows & celebrations.


5WM Crew:

Daniel Gourley
Jason Schwartzel
Adam Alden
Sarah Reed


Pharos LPC Controller
LED Neon Flex

Working with Daniel and his team was an absolute pleasure. City Lights, Ltd. has been in the electrical business for over 20 years. It is extremely rare to work with such knowledgeable and qualified company. They delivered a quality product on time and on budget.
— John Candelaria, Senior V.P. of City Lights
5WM was essential in bridging the technical design gap between a very challenging installation and a great visual experience.
— Brian Dressel, President of M1 Interactive