OC Register

IRVINE - The Irvine Spectrum Center's remodeled Giant Wheel debuted this week with 52,000 LED lights. The energy-efficient lights are capable of producing 16 million different color schemes.

On Friday through Sunday, guests can take free rides on the 108-foot wheel.

"We're excited to unveil the stunning new Giant Wheel - its all-new LED lighting system will help reduce energy consumption and will be a spectacular display of color," said Easther Liu, Chief Marketing Officer for Irvine Company Retail Properties.

The wheel was built in Italy more than a decade ago and arrived in Los Angeles on July 20, 2002, after a three week voyage. It came to the Irvine Spectrum on July 25. After an eight-week installation, it opened in October 2002.

The 140,000-pound wheel was the third fixed wheel to take root in Southern California, after the wheels at Santa Monica Pier and at Disney's California Adventure.

For the holidays, the Irvine Co., which owns the Spectrum, will have themed lights.

Contact the writer: hmadans@ocregister.com or Twitter: @HannahMadans