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It’s lights out for Santa Monica’s Pacific Park wheel, but just in May

The lights on the Ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier's Pacific Park will go dark May 5 for installation of a new lighting package.
(Luis Sinco)

The flashy lights on the Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier’s Pacific Park will go dark Thursday as work begins on a new $1-million lighting package for the solar-powered ride.

The Pacific wheel, which stands 130 feet above the ocean, turns 20 this year -- and with that milestone comes new LED lights (174,000 of them, to be specific) as well as tech upgrades like increased imaging speeds and more pixels in the illuminated projections.

What does it all mean? More intense colors projected onto the wheel’s 20 gondolas and more energy-efficient lights too, according to a statement released Monday.

Pacific Park opened May 26, 1996. The new lights are expected to be ready in time for the birthday celebration later this month.

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While new lights are being installed, the park will illuminate one gondola each evening starting Friday for each of its respective years -- from 1996 to the present.

The ride, which costs $8 to take a spin, will remain open during the lights out.

Info: Pacific Park, (310) 260-8744

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