Focusing on improving grounds management efficiency, the City of Fort Collins recently enlisted Oelo Lighting Solutions, a Fort Collins manufacturer of permanent holiday lights, to illuminate five different community buildings with year-round lighting.
Combining 1,800 LEDs and Oelo’s proprietary cloud-based system that operates the lights, the city can now celebrate any occasion, all while eliminating the ongoing time and recurring budget it takes to hang holiday lights.
Featuring more than 16 million hues and a dozen movement settings, including security lighting, the city can glow green for St. Patrick’s Day, patriotic colors during the Fourth of July, and traditional Christmas colors throughout December with its Oelo lights. The community even can root on the Colorado State University Rams with green and gold, or cheer on the city’s seven high schools with these festive lights.
The rapidly urbanizing city operates under a comprehensive development plan, requiring projects like this one to go through a public, detailed RFP process. Oelo was awarded the initiative in early 2022 and completed its last building install this summer. The City Hall and Fort Collins’ police station were among the five buildings decked out in lights.
“Fort Collins encompasses more than 57 square miles, and the city maintains nearly 1,000 acres of parks, more than 37,000 acres of natural areas, and 45 miles of off-street trails, which makes Oelo a welcome addition for the maintenance team,” Oelo COO Clay Horst said.
The Oelo lighting system is the perfect fit, featuring a cloud-based system that gives the city the ability to control each building separately (or together) from anywhere in the world from a web browser or iPhone/Android devices. Oelo’s software is extremely robust and utilizes openssl. 1.1d controller software and AWS Cognito User Pool credentials, keeping the system secure.
Additionally, event lighting can be scheduled up to 12 months in advance with the system activating automatically per the schedule. From a management standpoint, Oelo is a no-brainer, helping the grounds crew eliminate the ongoing time and money it takes to hang and coordinate holiday lights on an annual basis.
Featuring a five-year warranty, each system is rated for 100,000 hours of use — the equivalent of 22 years of nightly 12-hour glow. In comparison, LED string lights and neon tube lights are only rated for 10,000-40,000 hours. Meanwhile, Oelo’s patented color-changing lighting system features permanent weather-resistant aluminum covers that blend in with the buildings, making it practically invisible by day — and yet hard to miss at night thanks to color-changing LEDs.
Last year, Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas invested in an Oelo system, accenting nine buildings across the 122-year-old campus with more than 7,500 lights, and in November, the Children’s Hospital Colorado helped brighten patients’ stay at its 40-acre healthcare campus with a 6,200-linear-foot Oelo system that illuminates 14 different rooflines with 8,000 LEDs.
Considered one of the “premium” manufacturers of permanent holiday lights, Oelo has also been showcased on Lifetime TV’s home makeover show Designing Spaces and DIY’s I Want That series and was touted in the USA Franchising magazine as “a great product that can help commercial businesses attract attention and enhance curb appeal.” The article highlighted Human Bean, a coffee franchisee, and its use of permanent structural lighting, along with a list of commercial customers, which includes storefronts, restaurants, boutique hotels, fire stations, vehicle service shops, and more. Oelo’s ability to connect multiple controllers makes it a favorite for large-scale shopping centers that need to synchronize lighting for additional structures.
Oelo is backed by a 60-year-old parent company in Fort Collins with a 30-year specialty in the mission-critical lighting industry. Incorporated in 1954, the company supports two other divisions that offer specialty lighting products in the emergency vehicle industry, which means Oelo knows the ins and outs of government projects.
“It’s neat that Oelo was born from the emergency industry and that it has all come full circle with a hospital project of this scale,” Horst said. “We’re proud to know that we’ve created structural lighting that keeps on giving.” Especially in Oelo’s own backyard.
“It means a lot to us that the City of Fort Collins recognized the importance of selecting and supporting a local company, especially because many of our employees get to enjoy seeing their work every time they pass one of these buildings,” Oelo Owner Ron Weinmeister said. We love knowing we had a hand in making our community a more beautiful place to live.”