Austin moontower gets upgraded with LED lights

Austin’s iconic moonlight towers, also known as moontowers, have been lighting up the City since 1895. Being more than a century old means they require some care. 

On Monday, the moontower on MLK and Chicon got its bulbs replaced. It was the last moontower in Austin to get upgraded to LED lights. 

It's no small feat to get to the top of the roughly 150-foot tower.

"The large truck we have to use belongs to our transmission group. They're the only ones that have a truck tall enough to reach this tower," said Paul Peterson, supervisor of Austin Energy’s Illumination, Construction & Maintenance group. "And then our group, we go up and troubleshoot it, see what the issue is. We knew there was a fixture missing that we had to replace, a couple of lenses we had to replace. And then we're going to revamp it, put all new LED lamps in it while we're up there."

The 400-watt bulbs were replaced with 80-watt LED bulbs, which are not only energy efficient, but require less maintenance.

"It'll save a lot on labor costs," said Peterson. "To be able to go from doing this every five years to maybe every 20, that's going to be another substantial savings as well."

The towers themselves are also in the process of being refurbished, as the City works to preserve this piece of history.

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Thirty-one towers were originally brought to Austin from Detroit. Currently, there are less than 20 still standing.

Austin is believed to have the only remaining moontowers in the world.

"They are historical landmarks."