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Star to shimmer above Afton

 

Devon Kuhlman, a distributor for Jellyfish Lighting, shows a small sample of how the lights will be fitted into a housing which will then be secured inside the metal channel of the star. SVI PHOTO BY DAHL ERICKSON

• New lighting system will provide 16 million colors; cost less than eight incandescent bulbs annually

The star above the town of Afton has been a mainstay for over 100 years. For many of those years, its annual refresh was done by high school juniors and seniors as their graduating class year adorned the hill below the star. From flares to solar panels to many other additions, the iconic hillside decor has always had locals thinking of ways to improve it.

This past year, a power line was buried as part of a long-term plan. Now with a steady stream of electricity, things are about to get brighter.

In the most recent town council meeting for Afton on June 11, Paul Scherbel offered and update and a small demonstration.

“The daytime star is complete he said. “It is a substantial structure. It should be there for a long time.”

Scherbel explained the metal structure has also been protected by an implement paint made by Rustoleum. What has been considered phase one, is now complete.

The next phase includes a two-inch channel which will house a series of LED lights. (LED stands for Light Emitting Diode) Scherbel was researching the best lights and found that the company, Jellyfish Lighting, had a distributer in Star Valley. Devon Kuhlman with EZ Access then showed the council an example of how the series of lights with 10-guage wiring will be fitted within a housing which will fit inside the metal channel along the line of the star.

According to Kuhlman and Scherbel, the lighting system can create approximately 16-million different color combinations and have a life-expectancy of 20-25 years. In the report to the council, a normal home utilizing the lighting would have 200 feet. The star will have 800 lights. It can be controlled by smartphone and can be password protected. In terms of power consumption, it will use less than 800 watts of power per year.

While the primary color of the star will likely be white, the council will be discussing various occasions to use the different combinations such as Independence Day. Installation of the lights are currently underway.

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