December 14, 2017
People often underestimate the effect lighting, design and architecture have on our brains. Even something as simple as a decorative post-top can significantly impact the mood of a community.
The Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting recently retrofitted almost 200,000 street lights to LED, calling it The Post-Top Challenge. Of those lights, 50,000 are decorative post-tops that were manufactured as early as the 1920s. The director of the bureau, Ed Ebrahimian, didn’t want to modify the post-tops to match the modern cobra-head fixtures that run through the majority of the city. Even though modernizing the post-tops would amount to annual electricity savings, the bureau decided to preserve the neighborhood’s aesthetics.
Ebrahimian says, “Different fixture styles have been installed in different neighborhoods, representing the historic fabric of the city. My goal is to make sure we preserve these treasures.”
The ornamental, vintage light posts are an integral part of LA’s character. Artist Chris Burden reflected this in a sculpture called Urban Light. The sculpture, installed in 2008, consists of 202 light poles with various decorative post-tops from around the city. The landmark has become a main attraction for tourists, a focal point for weddings, and has even been included in music videos.
It’s no surprise that Urban Light and LA’s decorative post-tops have drawn public attention. There may be some science to the idea that architecture and lighting affect mood, though the effects may not be immediate.
In an Independent article, program director of spatial practices at the Central Saint Martins art school, Dr. Melanie Dodd says, “The impact architecture has on a person’s mood is huge… architecture may not have a direct relationship with our mood that is measurable. It may be complex, subjective and happen over time and with use.”
Changing the vibe of your neighborhood, town or city doesn’t require dramatic or expensive remodels. Something as simple as an ornate post-top can attract visitors and boost the mood of a community. If you are searching for ways to improve the vibe of your community, Brex Lighting has several decorative and unique post-tops to choose from.