Visible Light Solar Technologies Retrofits Old Town Albuquerque's Historic Gas Lamps with LED and Solar Technology

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80% Energy Savings Advance the Greening of Albuquerque's City Lighting

LED and Solar Gas Lamp Light Retrofit

Visible Light Solar allowed us to embrace 21st century energy efficient lighting technology without sacrificing the aesthetic beauty of these irreplaceable 19th century fixtures.

Today, Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry and Visible Light Solar Technologies, an energy technology company that manufacturers light emitting diode (LED) and solar lighting applications, flipped the switch on the first installation of historic Old Town Albuquerque gas lamps retrofitted with LED and solar technology. The lights illuminating Old Town were originally gas-fed and later electrified with 100 and 200 watt bulbs which Visible Light Solar is retrofitting with 21 and 42 watt LED lights. Many of the retrofitted gas lamps will also incorporate solar cells custom designed to be invisible to the multitude of visitors who tour the historic neighborhood each year. The retrofitted Old Town fixtures will consume, on average, 80% less electricity and require far less maintenance than their predecessors.

More than 80 gas lamp style fixtures illuminate the streets and central square of Old Town Albuquerque, the city’s historic and cultural center. Founded in 1706, the Old Town district follows the traditional Spanish-colonial pattern of a central plaza and church surrounded by homes and businesses. “Our job is to cherish and preserve this city’s architectural treasures while preparing it for the challenges of rising energy costs and climate change,” said Mayor Berry. “Visible Light Solar allowed us to embrace 21st century energy efficient lighting technology without sacrificing the aesthetic beauty of these irreplaceable 19th century fixtures.”

The Greening of Albuquerque’s Lighting
In addition to retrofitting the lights in Old Town Albuquerque, Visible Light Solar is working with the City on nearly a dozen projects to convert City-owned light fixtures to energy-efficient LED technology as part of the Mayor’s efforts to permanently reduce the cost of City government. During the Old Town unveiling, the Mayor also noted his commitment to support local businesses through the “Thrive ABQ” initiative, an economic development program he introduced in March to encourage private companies and the City’s procurement departments to buy locally.

“Our work with Visible Light Solar demonstrates my administration’s commitment to local businesses that offer high quality, competitively priced goods and services,” said Mayor Berry. “Albuquerque’s prosperity rests on our ability to attract innovative companies, and to do so successfully, we must create the business environment where job growth can thrive.”

LED Retrofitting of Old Town Streetlights
Working with Old Town Albuquerque’s management team, Visible Light Solar created a custom LED insert to replace the 100 watt metal halide and 200 watt incandescent light bulbs used in the park and streetlights throughout the historic district. In addition, the City challenged Visible Light Solar to incorporate solar technology into the gas lamp fixtures without compromising the aesthetic design of the historic lanterns. Visible Light Solar designed custom solar panels to fit the fixture’s cap and disguised the blue-color photovoltaic materials with an industrial-grade mica superstrate that renders the solar panels invisible to the naked eye.

In the future, utilizing Visible Light Solar’s patent-pending power management and control software, the Old Town lights can be programmed to change brightness — low illumination for weddings or brighter illumination for late-night security — and simulate the flicker of the original gas-fed lighting. Additionally, the City can choose to incorporate motion sensing, wireless WIFI or security camera installations.

“We can retrofit any light fixture on the planet,” said Rhonda Dibachi, Chair of Visible Light Solar’s Board of Directors. “From historic street and park lights to the architecturally distinctive fixtures found in school campuses, hotels, office complexes and apartment communities, we have yet to be stumped by a lighting application that we couldn’t outfit with our energy-efficient technology. We are proud to be working with dozens of municipalities across the US to retrofit their gas lamp and acorn-style streetlights, but none more so than the forward-thinking City of Albuquerque, the town that has inspired and supported our company since we first developed this technology in 2007.”

About Visible Light Solar Technologies
Visible Light Solar Technologies (http://www.visiblelightsolar.com) is an energy technology company providing LED lighting, point of use solar technology and on-and-off-grid energy optimization solutions. Visible Light Solar's flagship LED lighting solutions give public, private, industrial and commercial facilities ways to immediately save money, reduce maintenance costs, and advance their environmental sustainability goals. Products include exterior and interior retrofit as well as new LED lighting solutions, including a patent-pending solar or hybrid powered smart board technology. Visible Light Solar is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society, US Green Building Council and the International Dark-Sky Association. Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the company is backed by the clean technology firm, Noribachi (http://www.noribachi.com).

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