The 41-year-old CITGO sign in Boston’s Kenmore Square, advertising a petroleum company, was officially relit in a ceremony on March 18 by CITGO's President and CEO Félix Rodríguez, assisted by Boston mayor Tom Menino. The sign is seen as a good luck charm for the Boston Red Sox, who (at long last) won baseball's World Series in 2004.
Rod Wardle and Steve Sluder of YESCO's Las Vegas office explained to LEDs Magazine that several different LED combinations were used to create the necessary colors for the sign. "The LEDs are mounted on circuit boards inside linear extrusions, with 30 LEDs per linear foot" said Wardle. "For the white section, each pixel contains red, green and blue LEDs, while blue alone is used for the CITGO letters."
Power consumption has been reduced to between one-half and one-third of its previous value, while the safety aspects of using a low voltage source were also a consideration in switching to LEDs, as well as the environmental problems associated with neon.
The LEDs, supplied by Nichia and Agilent, are rated to last for 100,000 hours, but Wardle says they will not be driven at their rated current. Since the sign is only illuminated between dusk and midnight, it should be many years before the CITGO sign gets another lighting overhaul.