Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Public Awareness

How to Light a Structure Purple


You can light up a building, a bridge, a statue, a waterfall… any object that is illuminated white can be turned purple, often at little or no cost.  Contact the person who manages the facility.  Explain to them that they can help raise awareness and potentially save lives by the simple act of shining a purple light.

Even though they are the experts on how to illuminate their building, it may help them if you familiarize yourself with the following:

  1. Gels on floodlights: Most buildings have floodlights. To change from a white light to any color, a piece of colored gel (a special type of clear plastic used in theatrical productions) is placed in a holder in front of the light. Gels come in standard sizes; they also come in sheets, which are cut to fit. Gels are inexpensive and can be found at theater supply stores. If you need the location of a store near you, drop a note to:
  2. LEDs: Some buildings, like the Empire State Building, have gone to LED technology. It’s far more energy-efficient and the colors can be changed by computer. Prices for retrofitting to LEDs have come down significantly and advances in technology are being made on a monthly basis.
  3. Structure-specific lights: Some structures have their own lighting system. For example, the Mid-Hudson Bridge has “necklace lights” (the ones that follow the suspension cables) that can be made any color.
  4. Light bulbs: Small businesses and homeowners can replace a standard light bulb with a purple bulb. People can also put them in a lamp in their front windows. 25 watt purple “party bulbs” can be purchased online or in retail stores. If you don’t see them, just ask; most retailers will order them upon request. These bulbs cast very low light. If you use them in the entryway of a home or office, be sure that safety isn’t compromised. Purple bulbs also come in 75 watts, but even then, the light cast is not very bright. It is not recommended to use them as the sole means of lighting access to a building.

Note:  If you know of additional information that could be helpful to others, please send it to Thank you.