City of Georgetown


The City of Georgetown, Texas, is proud of its history as much as its future. Home to Southwestern University, the oldest university in the state of Texas, Georgetown also is headquarters to several leading-edge technology companies. To welcome travelers on Interstate 35 heading north from nearby Austin, Texas, the City built a new stone monument with the engraved lettering "Georgetown, Texas, Est. 1848". The challenge was how to illuminate the sign at night, since there was no electric service line that was available at the location.


The City did not have to look far to find the ideal solution. It chose solar-powered ActiveLED lighting by Ringdale, Inc., based in Georgetown. Photovoltaic panels behind the sign charge a battery pack during the day. The batteries store enough energy to power four 52 watt ActiveLED Billboard Lights that illuminate the sign at night as well as an irrigation system for landscaping around the sign. A notable feature of the ActiveLED lights is that they were designed to eliminate light trespass above the horizontal plane, which helps to preserve the nighttime sky.


Michel Seary, capital projects manager for the City of Georgetown, said the decision to use the Ringdale off-grid system was the way to go. "At the location where we built the sign, solar was much more cost-effective than running a new electric service line a long distance" Seary said. In keeping with the environmentally friendly theme, the City used limestone panels for the face of the sign which were locally-quarried. With its net-zero carbon neutral design powered by free energy from the sun, the new welcome sign offers a green hello from Georgetown.