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San Jose lights up parts of downtown with artistic LED lights displays

Posted on December 28, 2012 Category: Landscape Lighting Articles

Officials from San Jose, California, are launching a project to install artistic LED lighting to brighten up various parts of the downtown area where people might otherwise be hesitant to walk around, according to the San Jose Business Journal.

"With the increase of residential downtown, you need to have more things on the street level," Barbara Goldstein, the Public Art Director of San Jose, told the news source. "You don't want to see people going home and turning out the lights or watching TV. The more types of visual cues people get, the more they are encouraged to get out."

The program, called "Illuminating Downtown," is being primarily funded through a $600,000 grant from ArtPlace America. Most of the funds will be used to install the LED lighting and commission artists and designers to come up with the displays.

Goldstein and other city officials have selected underpasses on San Fernando and Santa Clara Streets under Highway 87 as the first two targets of the project, the news source reports. The decision to select the underpasses was made following workshops and discussions between city officials and various urban planners, business owners and designers. The ornate LED lights displays will help illuminate the tops of the underpasses and make them more inviting to pedestrians. Additionally, the city has also targeted the Guadalupe River Trail and the area near the convention center.

LED lights are an excellent choice for the "Illuminating Downtown" project. According to ENERGY STAR, these bulb types use at least 75 percent less energy than traditional bulb types while lasting 35 to 50 times longer. This will allow the city to save substantially on its electricity bill and maintenance costs.