San Jose Street Lights Lock in Solar

San Jose is the economic, cultural, and political hub of Silicon Valley. The unofficial capital of the region, it is also one of the wealthiest cities in America. The city is committed to a Green Vision, which includes replacing 100% of its 62,000 street lights with smart, energy-efficient LED lighting by 2022, reducing both wasted light and energy consumption. Sol is proud to be part of this effort with a pilot project installation in Chris Hotts Park in the Los Alamitos neighborhood.

The urban sprawl of San Jose is the result of the annexation of several unincorporated communities in the 1950s and 1960s, when the city grew from 17 to 149 square miles. These communities are now the neighborhoods of San Jose, from Japantown to Burbank. In San Jose, technology may dominate, but residents can also visit the San Jose Museum of Art, watch the San Jose Sharks hockey team, or walk on the 60-mile trail network through the city.

Its expensive housing market and high cost of living may restrict accessibility for new residents, but those with a foothold here can thrive at companies like eBay, Adobe Systems, Samsung, and other high-tech businesses with local headquarters. Tech giants like Google and Apple—in Mountain View and Cupertino, respectively—are also nearby. The University of California, Berkeley, San Jose State University, and Stanford University, among others, produce thousands of engineering and computer science graduates that invest in the local economy.

Dark-Sky Friendly Solar Lighting Needed

High above the valley, on 4,265-foot Mount Hamilton, the Lick Observatory has been operating here since it was built in 1876–77, when it became the first permanently occupied mountain-top observatory. Notable discoveries include several of Jupiter’s moons, as well as extrasolar planets and an asteroid. Today, it is owned and operated by the University of California, after surviving the threat of urban light pollution beginning in the 1970s. Without action, the observatory would have been forced to close, but in the 1980s, the city stepped up, replacing its street lights with low-pressure sodium models.

The Sol EverGen M Series independent solar LED street lights ensure no unnecessary light is lost to the skies, an effect that will be noticeable in Chris Hotts Park. Today, with another massive change in street lighting that aims to future-proof the city’s lighting infrastructure, San Jose could very possibly be the first major North American city to use solar LED lighting as a citywide park and pathway light solution.

This high-tech city is up to the challenge. With 300 days of sunshine a year and a Mediterranean climate, San Jose is a natural fit for the technology it strives to use.

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