From the City of Austin:
The Zilker moonlight tower will once again light up the night sky — but this time with energy-efficient, LED light bulbs. The moonlight tower was taken down in April to be repaired and restored, and Austin Energy contractors will erect the restored tower on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
PHOTOS: Zilker moonlight tower comes down … temporarily
The moonlight tower in Zilker Park is one of the original 31 towers that provided the City of Austin its first urban lighting system in 1895.
“No other city in the world still has moonlight towers. They’re historical treasures that Austin Energy is committed to maintaining,” said Dan Smith, Vice President of Electric Service Delivery. “We are also committed to reducing energy consumption and worked with the Texas Historical Commission to carefully choose LED light bulbs that preserve both the color and intensity of the original lighting.”
Austin Energy contracted with Enertech Resources, LLC to restore and repair the City’s 17 remaining moonlight towers. As part of the restoration process, all 17 moonlight towers will be outfitted with LED light bulbs, saving approximately 131,400 kilowatt-hours annually, which is the equivalent of powering 11 average-sized homes year-round.
In addition to upgrading the lights, Enertech disassembled the tower into individual components, sandblasted the components to remove paint, corrosion and dirt, tested them for cracks and voids, then repaired, repainted and reassembled the tower. Enertech also upgraded the wiring, electrical panel board, switches and relays.
“It’s not just about making the moonlight tower pretty; it’s about ensuring safety and bringing it up to today’s energy efficient standards,” said Smith.
“The Zilker Tree turns 50 this year, and restoring the moonlight tower to tip-top condition is part of the City’s preparation for the celebration.”
Every winter, the Zilker moonlight tower is transformed into the Zilker Tree, a holiday tradition since 1967.