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LEDs Light Up L.A.'s Harbor Bridge

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SAN PEDRO, CA—The residents of San Pedro are finally enjoying the installation of blue LED lights on the local Vincent Thomas Bridge after 17 years of setbacks. Advances in lighting technology enabled the ideal solution—LEDs, which were unavailable in 1988 when the campaign began to light the bridge.

The Blue LED lamps that top the bridge's suspension cables were provided by Los Angeles-adjacent LEDtronics Inc. "They work as we expected, but seeing all the LED lamps lit up was amazing," remarked Pervaiz Lodhie, president of LEDtronics.

LEDtronics was brought into the project by Lighting Design Alliance of Long Beach, CA who, on the behalf of the Vincent Thomas Bridge Lighting Committee, investigated LEDs as a viable solution for lighting the bridge. Jordon Papanier, LEDtronics' Marketing Manager, first met with the Committee in the spring of 1999 to demonstrate LED bulbs and introduced them to LED technology and its benefits. For over five years, LEDtronics collaborated with community leaders, civil agencies and environmentalists to develop an LED light that would be acceptable to all parties.

Pervaiz Lodhie of LEDtronics proposed the innovative idea of implementing solar-energy in tandem with the LED lights. A 4.5-kilowatt solar-panel system located near the bridge generates electricity that is then sold to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. While the LED lights themselves do not directly tap into the solar-generated power, the Vincent Thomas Bridge is the first of its kind to leverage solar-generated power to pay for the cost of operating decorative lighting. A total of 160 LED fixtures light both sides of the bridge, 80 LEDtronics units affixed to the apex of the suspension cables along with an additional 80 located at deck level. Each LED fixture consumes only 19.5 Watts of power, making LEDs the perfect complement to solar energy. Several variations of LED lamps were tested before the solar-powered, environmentally friendly Blue 360-LED lamp received the go-ahead. Blue was chosen because it would standout amid the amber-colored lights and maritime navigation indicators in the Los Angeles Harbor.

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