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How do you power up an electric sign when there’s no easy access to electricity? You go solar!

That was BSC Custom’s solution for two illuminated signs created for the 40 West Arts District in Lakewood, Colorado. The signs welcome visitors to 40 West, which is located along a stretch of historic West Colfax Avenue. If you haven’t visited 40 West, be sure to drop by and explore the arts district. You’ll know when you’re in the right spot when you see the new signs! They’re located near Wadsworth Blvd. and West Colfax.

Installing signs

BSC Custom fabricated and installed the unique signage, which clearly identifies the 40 West Arts District as you drive along West Colfax. You can’t miss them — these soaring signs have been placed in the center median and mark the boundaries of the heart of the creative district. 40 West has more than thirty destination businesses and organizations, located along either side of West Colfax Avenue for more than two miles. It’s located just a few minutes drive from downtown Denver. The district’s busy core is found close to Lamar Station Plaza and Teller Street.

40 West Arts District sign

40 West is an official Colorado Creative District and is home to an amazing collection of art galleries and studios, event venues, public art, restaurants, music schools and stores, community organizations, and other creative businesses. The 40 West Arts District is a great place to visit and offers many events throughout the year such as art walks, a MuralFest, gallery events, and even a farmers’ market!

This new signage will help bring awareness and brand recognition to 40 West, and encourage people from all over Metro Denver to come and explore the area.


BSC Custom worked with the 40 West Arts District on the design and installation of the signage. The goal was to put up two large, illuminated signs to identify the creative district. By clearly identifying the core area of 40 West, it will encourage more visitors to stop and check out what the arts district has to offer.

40 West Arts District signs

BSC Custom fabricated and installed four elements for the project:

  • Two large illuminated signs that identify the location of the 40 West Arts District
  • Two “solar trees” with solar panels


During planning for the 40 West project, we needed to find a way to provide power to the signs, as they are internally  illuminated. The challenge was their placement in the center median on West Colfax Avenue. The prime location makes for perfect visibility, but access to power was difficult. Digging up the street and running power cables was just not feasible, and neither was running overhead power lines.

The solution we decided on is solar power. A “solar tree” collector with solar panels is installed near each sign. Battery modules built into the base of the signs store up energy during daylight hours, and provide enough power to run the LED lights all night. The amazing energy efficiency of the bright LEDs really helps.

Solar panels

During the summer months there are many hours of bright daylight each day. That makes it easier to provide power to the signs during the evening hours. But the solar solution also has to work during the winter months, when sunlight isn’t as intense and daylight hours are shorter.

Solar powered sign

Fortunately, Colorado is one of the sunniest locations in the country — in fact you’ll often hear that Denver receives 300 days of sunshine a year. We needed to be sure that the solar panels would provide enough power to keep the signs brightly illuminated at night all year long. After looking at the average available hours and intensity of sunshine throughout the year, the specs for the solar panels were finalized.

We are looking forward to using solar power solutions for more projects in the future.



Here are a few photos from the installation at 7300 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood.

Installing a solar powered sign on West Colfax Avenue

Installing a sign at 40 West Arts District


While you’re exploring the area, you’ll see a 40 West Arts District wayfinding kiosk. BSC Custom built this illuminated map for the City of Lakewood.

Wayfinding kiosk


You can learn more about the 40 West Arts District by visiting their website. And if you’re in the Metro Denver area, drop by and explore some of the galleries and interesting shops ! 40 West is one of eighteen Certified Creative Districts recognized by the state of Colorado. Three are in Denver: the 40 West Arts District, the RiNo Art District, and the Art District on Santa Fe.

Here’s a graphic from the Colorado Creative Industries website, showing all of the districts around the state.

Colorado Creative Districts

Here’s a recent video about the 40 West Arts District, with Adam Paul, the mayor of Lakewood, and Bill Marino from 40 West.

We hope you get a chance to visit 40 West — you can keep up with their events and activities by following the 40 West Facebook page.


BSC Custom Architectural + Lighting is located in Broomfield, Colorado and is a division of BSC Signs, a premier full-service sign company. BSC Custom specializes in the design and fabrication of architectural elements, custom lighting, and unique signage. If you have a project idea you’d like to discuss, please call BSC Custom manager Dustin Monroe at 303-464-0644, or send us an email.

BSC Custom - Broomfield, Colorado

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