By now, all of us are familiar with the bistro lights the City hung over the downtown area over Arizona Street, between Nevada Way and Hotel Plaza. Even cooler is the fact that they can change the colors, but we wondered, how?
It’s all done by a fancy device called a CueServer 2 Mini that runs this nifty program. The device is set up high near one of the light poles, so it’s safe and then Gary Poindexter, the Public Works Superintendent for Boulder City programs the codes, known as RGB color codes, into the system from his tablet and ‘poof – let there be light!’. And lights of a certain color, too!
Gary tells us that there is a learning curve here for sure, and that it took him some time to nail down the just right code for ‘warm white’. These RGB codes are actually the same color codes that I use in web design, so I completely get it. You’re dealing with what you think it will look like on the screen, but then put it against a backdrop of other colors, and yikes! So in real life you think you have is just right, but then against a dark sky, trees or other backgrounds, it will look totally different.
Gary tells us that you’ve got 350 bulbs up there with the possibility of 16,000 different color options. But he’s got most of the major holidays listed out now and a basic graph on the color codes he showed us, below. (He’s working on a Vegas Golden Knights one too!)
The project was funded by a grant from the RDA (Redevelopment Agency) fund so it’s paid for by those commercial zone property taxes, and not out of the City budget. The bulbs are LED and pull less than 1 watt per bulb, and the cables are also low voltage too, so the intent here is that this is not a major electrical expense to the City.
We thought this would be fun for you to know how this happens behind the scenes!