High-Tech Lights on Watertown Square Trees Allow for More Colorful Display

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Charlie Breitrose

The new lights on the trees on the Watertown Square Delta can change colors and display patterns.

The new lights on the trees on the Watertown Square Delta can change colors and display patterns.

The lights on the trees in Watertown Square have gone high tech, and will be lit for more than just the holidays.

Residents may have noticed the lights around the trees on the Watertown Delta shine not only brighter, but in different colors. This is the result of the new light system installed by the Department of Public Works, said Jesse Myott, the DPW’s Director of Administration and Finance.

For years, the lights on the trees in the Watertown Delta were all white. That changed this year. The old lights were more like the ones people have in their homes, but the new ones have LED bulbs with the capability of shining many different colors, and in different patterns.

“When we replaced the lights, the superintendent (Gerald Mee) wanted something more in the Delta, with it being the center piece in Watertown Square,” Myott said. “It is a permanent installation, which is neat, because it can be used all year ’round.”

The lights can be changed using an app on a smartphone or tablet, Myott said. The system is the same one used by Stone Zoo for its ZooLights display, however, Myott said he does not know of any other nearby municipal users.

“I believe we are the first town with it installed. If not the first, we are one of the first in Massachusetts,” Myott said.

These days, the trees are lit Christmas colors of white, red and green.

“Traditionally the Town stayed with white (lights) but the system has given us the option of different colors, and the superintendent is letting us try different colors,” Myott said. “For the most part, people are enjoying the colors.”

As the year goes on, the lights will be different colors.

“For Breast Cancer Awareness we can make it pink and for autism we can make it the appropriate color,” Myott said.

The trees are solid colors right now, but the app allows for patterns and other features, Myott said.

“We are mapping it out right now,” he said.

9 thoughts on “High-Tech Lights on Watertown Square Trees Allow for More Colorful Display

  1. I absolutely love the new lighting! Mesmerizing, festive, and imaginative. Sculptural publuc art in the Square . Fantastic job DPW crew. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Health, Joyous 2020 to all.

  2. I live on Riverside Street and I am delighted with the new lighting. It’s very cheerful and helps make the dark nights more festive.

  3. I prefer the original lights that lit more of the area in a soft, overall, and welcoming way. I always loved the feeling as I entered Watertown Square during the holidays. This involves just two heavily decorated trees that don’t
    give the same feeling. I’ve heard the same from others but I have been wondering how others in the community feel.

  4. I’d rather the town concentrate on keeping the streets/sidewalks clean and the public wastebaskets from piling over into the streets. Be nice if the town prioritizes better with services but we’ll probably have to wait until Driscoll and Mee both retire.

  5. An earlier commenter mentions the “traditional” white lights — but for years before white holiday lights were installed on our Delta maples, they had colored lights, and they were fantastic!

    We had one big all-red tree, one all-blue, and one all-green. Having separate colors on each of the three big maples made each one clearly its own self. We’ve lost one of the well-balanced trio of maples that used to grace the Delta, but it’s so great to see holiday color back in the remaining two.

    Whether colored lights or white lights, it was lovely how the lights delicately outlined the branches. The effect was magical. The holiday lights on the big Delta trees have always been exceptionally carefully strung to outline the branches. IMO our Delta tree lights way outclass other towns’ holiday tree lights.

    I love seeing colored holiday lights back in our Delta trees, and installed again with exceptional care. But what would really be nice… is if the lights could be extended and delicately tapered toward the branch ends, and added to a few smaller branches as well as to the main leaders, a bit like they used to be.

    Reason I say this: with the lights installed just on the trunk and biggest branches, and stopping far short of the ends of those branches, as they are this season, well… the resulting outline is the way a tree looks when it has been standing dead a long time, or when it has been heavily pollarded (branches lopped off). Not really the effect to go for in the Season of Hope.

    Just my two cents. YMMV. I join with others in thanking DPW for this great effort and for the return of holiday color to our Delta trees!

  6. I really enjoyned the when one tree was red and the other green…I loved the lights!
    New technology is always a bit of a struggle to get 100% but great job with multiple colored trees in the square!

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