Opened in 2017, Mackay Park is the first new park built in Cypress, California in over 20 years. The 2.9 acre site boasts a number of high quality, sustainable amenities including a quarter mile trail system, covered picnic areas, play structures, restrooms and exercise equipment.
Designed by Hirsch and Associates Landscape Architecture and Planning on a former elementary school site, the park was also developed with green infrastructure in mind. This included California native, drought resistant plants, drip irrigation, a water infiltration system to control storm-water runoff and even a park sign made of recycled materials.
Sustainable Off-Grid Solar Lighting
Also included in the design of the park were First Light SCL2 solar powered LED luminaires. The shoebox design matches the style of several traditional wired fixtures in the park.
But going with solar powered lighting for much of the park not only ensures there will be light even during power outages, it lowered the cost of installing lighting by avoiding the need for wires underground throughout the site. This proved to be a surprisingly important advantage during construction of the park because of unexpectedly heavy rains which raised the water table of the site by several feet.
But by avoiding much of the need for laying wires underground, the park was finished on time and under budget. The city will also avoid ongoing challenges with wire theft or corrosion.
Sustainable Light Performance
In addition to matching the design of other wired lights in the park, the SCL2 luminaire was chosen for the park because of its high light output and reliable performance. The light output of the SCL2 exceeds recommended illumination levels as set by the Illuminating Engineering Society for pedestrian applications. The lights also include optics that ensure light is distributed where it is actually needed and does not trespass into areas where it is not wanted. Programmed lighting profiles further optimize light performance through the night while minimizing light pollution.
For reliability, the lights have learning capabilities to automatically adapt to seasonal or other variations. This ensures the light works through rainy spells and shorter days in the winter.
Sustainability Welcomed by Community
Situated in a residential area with houses on all sides, the reactions from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. The park regularly receives ratings of 4 or 5 out of 5 by users on Yelp and Google with some even commenting on how they appreciate the night lighting. On top of this, the park has even won an award by the American Society of Civil Engineers in the Small Project of the Year category.
Not only does the park feature a number of features that improve its sustainability, the added light make it more accessible for the community. We were proud to see our lights play a part in this great project.