EUGENE, Ore. — A bright idea to spruce up downtown Eugene is under way. Unique light fixtures are being installed on the city’s light poles. A prototype has been installed on Broadway and Willamette of the energy efficient LED linear lights.
The idea is similar to the flower pots hanging from some of the light posts downtown. When the flowers bloom, they transform downtown during the summer months. The organization behind the flowers, Downtown Eugene Inc., hopes the LED lights will have a similar effect during the winter months.
“It should make downtown feel brighter and safer in the winter months when it’s dark and wet and sometimes dreary. I think it will also really help connect major assets into downtown, Donald Theater to the Hilton, to the Hult Center to the Oregon Contemporary Theater and the Shedd [Institute]. It should help folks find their way into important cultural assets downtown,” says Eugene Chamber of Commerce President Dave Hauser.
The lights will eventually hang down from all 44 light poles in the downtown area. It will cost around $100,000 to finance the project. Downtown Eugene Inc., a private association made up of business and property owners in the downtown area, will foot the bill. No tax dollars will be used.
The lights are all manufactured by Eugene-based Light Beam Industries. They’ll come on as the street lights go on, and turn off when those go off. They can also change colors. On Halloween, they will be orange and black. During home football games they can be any one of the 54 color combinations the Oregon Ducks wear on their uniforms. They can even be tye die for the Oregon Country Fair. The project is expected to be in full effect for the upcoming holiday season.