Next-generation LEDs brightened the famous CITGO sign overlooking Fenway Park this weekend as the Boston Red Sox played the Toronto Blue Jays. The new LEDs feature lenses molded from highly weather-resistant modified acrylic resin.
A statement from CITGO noted: “The technology of the new lights has passed more than 1,000 hours of reliability testing and elevated temperatures, and the acrylic material is an impact-modified product designed to stand up to wind and the movement of the sign itself. These materials have been used in more than 1 million feet of gas stations canopies, border trimming on buildings, signs and bridges.”
The new sign uses roughly half the electricity and saves more than $18,000 per year in electrical bills than the original neon lighting used in the sign. It uses 24 volts to power the sign versus around 15,000 volts in the original sign.
CITGO is replacing LED lighting installed just five years ago. The company says exposure to weather extremes damaged the lights and caused colors to fade. In addition to the acrylic lens, the new LEDs also feature flexible connections that allow for expansion and contraction during temperature changes and extreme wind. This prevents cracking and potential water damage. Advanced materials are also employed to ensure the sign’s colors withstand the impact of UV rays and remain bright.
The 60-foot by 60-foot sign dates to 1940 and uses more than 9,000 feet of lights on both sides.
CITGO’s lighting contractor rushed to get the sign up and running in time for the Major League Baseball playoffs, which are schedule to begin Oct. 6. However, it will take a minor miracle for the Red Sox to make it. They also suffered significant wear and tear and they are seven games behind the New York Yankees.