Now that Selby Five Points Park is beginning to take shape with more than $100,000 worth of improvements that were unveiled last week, downtown leaders are planning a hi-tech finishing touch.
An elaborate computerized lighting system will be draped in all of the park’s 26 trees and will be the first of its kind in the state.
“It’s one more example that things are beginning to happen downtown,” said Eileen Hampshire, chairwoman of the Downtown Sarasota Alliance.
The DSA pulled together $81,000 to fund the lighting system. The city and the Downtown Improvement District each donated $25,000, and the Selby Foundation provided a $31,000 grant.
The goal, said Hampshire, was to beautify the park, provide more security and create a “wow factor.”
Each tree will have 200 small LED lights in its canopy, for a total of 5,200 throughout the park.
Matthew Gregg, president of the company installing the system, Synergy Lighting Supply, of Bradenton, described the lights’ capability.
“They’re capable of creating 60 million different color tones,” Gregg said. “The park can be red, white and blue for the Fourth of July or orange and black for Halloween or pink for breast-cancer awareness month.”
A city employee, Gregg suggests an IT worker, will be able to program those changes into the system.
The LED lights are guaranteed to last for 15 years, and they are more efficient than regular incandescent lighting, which Gregg said would need three times as many lights and three times more wiring to have the same effect and would consume 90% more energy.
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