Fans of the Cowichan Valley Capitals were treated to a fantastic light display at the team’s first game of the season last month at the Cowichan Community Centre.
That’s because the world’s largest hockey stick that adorns the building had a new, approximately $8,000, state-of-the-art lighting system installed that allowed changing colours and patterns for the first time, in addition to the classic white lights.
The company that the Cowichan Valley Regional District, which operates the CCC, tasked for the job of changing the lighting system was Duncan-based Cogent Green Solutions Ltd. which is owned and operated by Josh Lust.
While standing in front of the 205-foot long stick this week, Lust demonstrated that each of the 665 newly installed lights on the stick can be individually controlled and programmed simply and safely through a cellphone app.
He said the Gemstone Lights used, of which Cogent Green Solutions is currently the only authorized dealer on the Island, are designed to last 50,000 hours and offer every colour and pattern that can be imagined.
“Our usual business with these lighting systems is with residences, and the hockey stick is one of the first commercial applications of Gemstone Lights on the Island,” Lust said.
“Flashing the colours of the Cowichan Valley Capitals on their game nights has been received well by the fans, and there was an event dealing with dyslexia last week at the centre in which the lights displayed different colours and patterns for the different events at that gathering.”
The Cowichan Valley Regional District and staff at the CCC have heard requests for many years to see the lights illuminating the hockey stick modernized.
This need was recognized last year as the sporting icon became a natural gathering place in the Valley for those rallying in sympathy with Humboldt, Saskatchewan, following the deadly bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team.
Without the technology to change the colours of the lights, it was a sizable challenge to reflect the team colours of the Humboldt Broncos on the dark background of the stick for a vigil held on the property.
Lust said the Gemstone Lights on the hockey stick are very energy efficient, using just 60 watts in total.
“Commercial applications of the lights, like on the hockey stick, are poised to take off on the Island, but installing them on residences has been keeping me busy,” he said.
“I did 15 installs between Halloween and Christmas last year.”