Faulconer, Gloria "Light the Park" for Balboa Park's 2015 Centennial and Beyond

New Lighting Project Allows Color Washes that Illuminate Historic Buildings and Cuts Energy Use by More Than 50 Percent

San Diego - With the kickoff to the 2015 Balboa Park Centennial just days away, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and City Council President Todd Gloria today switched on new colorful, energy-efficient lights that will illuminate Balboa Park at night for the Centennial and beyond.

"After 100 years of serving as the crown jewel of our world-class city, we're showing off Balboa Park in a whole new light," Mayor Faulconer said. "This is just one of the many ways we are elevating and improving Balboa Park to make sure it remains a treasure for future generations of San Diegans. This is a big project only made possible by so many groups working together to get it done."

The lighting project removed existing outdoor light fixtures and replaced them with Red, Green, Blue LED lights, which are programmable in 2,700 color hues and will allow for architectural color washes on building exteriors. The project is a partnership between the City of San Diego, SDG&E and CleanTECH San Diego.

In addition, the City installed energy-efficient lighting in its antique-style streetlights throughout the park and the string lights that connect them.

"The new exterior lights highlight Balboa Park's beautiful architecture and increase safety, both of which will help further activate the park," Council President Gloria said. "As San Diegans rediscover Balboa Park during the Centennial, this energy-efficient lighting improvement helps ensure the park's sustainability through the next 100 years."

The nearly $1.7 million project was paid for mostly through federal grant and a significant contribution from SDG&E. The benefits include:

  • Energy savings of 56%-65% annually
  • Increased use of the park at night
  • Programmable color washes of Balboa Park's historic buildings

"We lit Balboa Park 100 years ago for the beginning of the Panama-California Exposition and today we're honored to still serve San Diego and light the park again, efficiently, with more renewable power than ever before, and in partnership with the City," said Frank Urtasun, SDG&E's Regional Vice President of External Relations.

The new color wash lighting is ready to go in time for the yearlong Centennial celebration, which officially kicks off Friday, Dec. 5, with December Nights.

"We are so delighted to see the completion of this spectacular and yet energy-efficient lighting project," said Carol Chang, President of the Balboa Park Conservancy, which manages December Nights. "And we appreciate SDG&E's continuing commitment to both improving and enhancing Balboa Park. They are wonderful partners and collaborators with us and other park stakeholders."

The Centennial celebration commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, an event that drew millions of spectators to Balboa Park and put San Diego on the world map.

Mayor Faulconer, Council President Gloria and several organizations with ties to Balboa Park have come together to create a 2015 Balboa Park Centennial that elevates, celebrates and promotes the park. For more information on Centennial-related activities, go to celebratebalboapark.org.

CONTACT: Craig Gustafson at (619) 453-9880 or [email protected]