While the events of 9/11 made an indelible mark on the world's consciousness, a new beacon of hope is emerging from the wreckage of that tragedy a decade later — construction of the new One World Trade Center, a soaring structure that will eventually span 101 floors and achieve an overall height of 1,776 feet, including antennas. When ultimately completed in 2012 and opened to tenants by 2013-2014, it will be the tallest building in the United States.

Ten years earlier and late on the afternoon of Sept. 11th, 2001, following the destruction of the iconic twin towers and the devastation, RAB Lighting received an urgent request from an area distributor for worklights to illuminate the recovery efforts at the World Trade Center. Located in Northvale, N.J., just 25 miles from Ground Zero, RAB had thousands of high-powered metal-halide worklights in stock and was ideally positioned to help restore light to the ravaged area so that recovery could begin and victims and crews could find their way as darkness approached. As the company's warehouse workers had already left for the evening, RAB's management team, including the CEO, didn't hesitate to pitch in and support the effort by loading trailers themselves and delivering the much needed lighting, which would be powered by generators, to the World Trade Center site.

Ten years later, RAB is still playing a critical role in the recovery and now the rebuilding of the globally-recognized World Trade Center (also known as the Freedom Tower). Providing nearly 1,000 400W pulse-start metal-halide fixtures to the landmark effort, RAB's temporary high-bay worklights are delivering necessary high-output lighting to the interior and exterior of the building and enabling crews to progress with construction of the monumental structure.

“We have already supplied over 850 RAB worklights to the site, with more to come, and the electrical contractors on the job have been extremely happy with them,” says Nick Sarli, purchasing manager for Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Louis Shiffman Electric, a distributor associated with the World Trade Center and a supplier to project contractor Five Star Electrical. “With the high ceilings and open areas present in this construction site, RAB lights provide more light output than many other competitive products, enabling crews to see well with fewer fixtures. RAB really offers a superior temporary high-bay worklight that we've found to last longer and be more reliable and user-friendly than others. As a result, RAB's is the only one we stock,” he says.

Steve Stikna, RAB's V.P. of sales, Eastern region, said the fixture is a “workhorse.” “This fixture throws a lot of bright light very efficiently,” he says. “With work proceeding on a 24/7 basis, long life is critical to the operation, and RAB's temporary high-bay fixtures have a lifespan of 20,000 hours, which will reliably support the work crews through most if not all of the projected duration of the construction before requiring bulb replacement.”

In addition to physically illuminating the area so work crews can operate, RAB's lights are also supporting the construction of a sophisticated structure which will be a model of green design. Ultimately incorporating more than 1 million feet of conduit, 5.5 million feet of cable, 25,000 lighting fixtures, 600 panels and 1,200 motors, the structure will boast 2.6 million square feet of office space, several floors of retail space, 70 high-speed elevators and an observation deck on the 101st floor. The building is designed to achieve LEED Gold Certification and is expected to have total energy performance exceeding code requirements by 20 percent. It will also have a fuel cell generating 4.8 million watts of energy per hour.

With RAB worklights currently helping to make the new World Trade Center one of the brightest buildings in the Manhattan skyline, RAB CEO Ross Barna is proud his company's lighting fixtures are part of its progress and success. “Ten years after that fateful day, we're watching a new architectural icon rising as an impressive symbol of strength for New York City, America and the entire world,” he says. “We're extremely proud to be part of the process of renewal and hope for the future.”