Inspired Illuminations Highlight Park Monuments

When the Prospect Park Alliance launched its ambitious holiday lighting installation, it faced many challenges in arranging more than half a million color-changing LEDs over and around the park’s landmark structures.

December 5, 2006, 12:00 AM EST

Among the most intriguing installations for the Prospect Park lighting display is the blue wave-shaped configuration in Bailey Fountain.

Prospect Park in Lights display Prospect Park Monday, 11.27.06, to Sunday, 01.07.07
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In a bid to draw more visitors to Brooklyn’s green spaces, the Prospect Park Alliance decorated four of the park’s entrances with LED lighting displays for the holiday season. With such a large-scale outdoor installation, the Alliance, led by the project’s manager, Carla White, had logistical concerns that required coordinating with Bestek Lighting & Staging (who fabricated and set up the installation), the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation’s electrical engineers, and the New York City Department of Transportation.

One task was translating the imaginative designs of Brooklyn-based lighting designer Jim Conti (also an associate professor of interior design at the Pratt Institute) and then positioning the forms without obscuring, drilling into, or attaching anything to the monuments. Careful measurements and on-site adjustments were integral to the two-week-long installation, and Bestek brought more equipment than usual to the locations, allowing for multiple options and modifications. Using approximately 600,000 energy-efficient, weather-resistant LEDs (as opposed to traditional Christmas lights) solved some of the issues relating to winter, power availability, and the length of the promotion. And to help protect the highly accessible pieces, the Alliance enlisted the help of the Parks Enforcement Patrol (a division of the Parks Department) and the NYPD.

Prospect Park in Lights will continue through January 7, with free trolley tours on weekend nights and free hot chocolate and candy every Sunday evening.

Anna Sekula

Photos: Courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance

Posted 12.05.06

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