Thursday, October 26, 2017

Do pretty lights mean a night life for your town?

Beautiful lighting transforms your town into something special at night
Do you ever wish it could always be Christmas time? It seems that more is going on around the holidays, especially in the downtown areas that we all love, whether it's downtown Atlanta or downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia. From big to small, our cities and towns know that lights help drive excitement and participation. 

And what I want to talk about is a point that many malls and shopping developments have already taken to heart: pretty lights can help you keep the fun going all year round! You can see festival lighting stretched across shopping avenues and restaurant patios, peripheral lighting along the edges of buildings at all times of the year, sparkly trees lit up with mini lights, no matter the time of year. Why not join the fun and think about accent and peripheral lighting for your area?

If you're thinking about this type of lighting for Christmas this year, let us help you do it in a way which will be usable year-round!

Peripheral lighting can point out and showcase your architecture!
Peripheral Lighting: notice a building like never before!

  • Peripheral lighting along roof edges and architectural features will punctuate the unique characteristics of your buildings and make them stick in the memories of your visitors. It will also be the best type of lighting to make an impact from a distance.

accent lighting can add a wonderful mood to your public space
Accent Lighting sets a mood and fills your place with color and glow

  • Accent lighting in trees and shrubs will give up-close sparkle and romance, keeping the eye and the attention of young and old. Do this type of lighting for the "wow" factor and as a way to add color and glow up close.

T-50 bulbs brilliantly light your area with overhead glow - Universal Concepts
Festival Lighting creates a space for your visitors

  • Festival lighting which stretches across paths and streets is best for creating depth and a path to encourage your visitor to stay, visit and meander. It gives you height as well as depth of field and is easy to maintain and use for all types of different occasions.
So spruce things up! Enjoy the holidays and know that we wish you and your loved ones the best during this holiday season. 

(800)522-0718



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Is Currier and Ives Dead?

So, is the traditional rural American Christmas a thing of the past? Is...(gulp) Currier and Ives dead?
You might think so in many of our cities and towns, where digital shows (which we love) and silver, gold and glitz carry the day. You might think so on Fifth Avenue, or in Chicago, Atlanta or Miami.
You might even think so if you cruised down through small town parks and riverfronts and saw all of the ground displays, flying reindeer and polar animals in the hundreds of traditional light shows around the country (we also love these).
BUT when you take a stroll down the streets of downtown Alpharetta, Buford, Decatur, or Sandy Springs...or even walk down certain city streets, it does seem that tradition is alive! Garlands, sprays, pine cones and laden trees, pretty ribbons and wreaths: they're all still there, nestled in among the glitz and the malls. 
We're guessing that there is enough Traditional Christmas left to go around, and it's not going anywhere! Here's hoping we don't leave all of that greenery and beautiful red ribbon behind in our rush toward bigger and better. 





So don't write anything off! Call us if you want help figuring out if YOUR style is Currier and Ives! And best wishes to you all as you slide into that "Most Wonderful Time of the Year!"




Thursday, September 28, 2017

It's not about Bulbs and Watts, It's about Families!

We thought we'd give a shout out to our partners in Gulfport, Mississippi and also philosophize for a moment on what makes a great Christmas season in a city or town.

Why do you want to decorate your town or park, anyway?

Surely your goal is not wattage or numbers of lights, but a big, meaningful, joyful event which will bring together families, young people, seniors, everyone in your community. You can't put a price on community spirit and the vitality which comes to a town when there is a vibrant social life which draws people in for evenings, weekends, or holidays.

Families stroll through the Harbor Lights show in Jones Park. photo credit: Gulfport Sun Herald 

Provide a celebration for all ages!

So how do you do that?

Do your research! See what communities in your region are doing to make the most out of holidays. What sorts of interactive displays, music events, dining opportunities and visual displays are part of their holidays?

Make it family-friendly, but appealing to teens and singles, too! How can you do this? How about integrating traditional whimsical and childish themes with new "wow factor" choices like synchronized lighting and music in a digital show, or sound-reactive displays which respond to your visitors' input?

Encourage excitement and "buzz" with hashtags. Social media promotion is a godsend for cities and towns, and can take your event to the next level, especially with teenagers. And don't forget press releases and features in the local paper. Check out the little guy who lit the trees last year in the big Jones Park show with Santa at his side. Now that's memorable!


To all of our friends and clients, thank you for trusting us with your communities' celebrations! Here's to the best holiday season ever!

                                   



Email: sales@universalconceptsus.com     800.522.0718     www.christmasdecorandmore.com
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Decatur, Georgia, superstar town!

 We loved this collection from the AJC of Decatur's past in pictures (and some other Atlanta communities get the spotlight, too)

This (above) was the Colonial Store in Decatur and North Decatur Road and Clairmont in 1947. The slideshow is full of those fifties cars and familiar restaurant signs, a far cry from the treesy, connected town we all know today. The faces and businesses in today's Decatur are far more diverse and urban than they were in those days, and we must say, Decatur has aged well! It's got the top spot in this list of best towns in Georgia.

Keep it up, Decatur! We're honored to be one of your business partners.

Email: sales@universalconceptsus.com     800.522.0718     www.christmasdecorandmore.com
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Need some Christmas color? Our showroom is full of new items, and you can check out our steel panel tree!


We're so happy in our new digs in Cumming (Georgia). Everything's getting organized and now...ta-DA!! Our new showroom (lobby) is ready to see! If you want to know what a panel tree looks like and if your Yorkie can climb inside of it (Apollo can), if you want to check out some commercial pole décor or wreaths before you order, hop onto Georgia 400 and head north to see us. We're just off exit 16 and we're sure you'll like all of the color and big beefy sturdiness of our items.

The best thing about coming to visit is that you can see what our time-tested panel trees look like before you buy. Often customers wonder what type of a tall tree to invest in when their park, city or town needs a Christmas centerpiece. Sometimes they decorate a live tree, sometimes they will try an artificial tree, but the reason you see so many of these imposing steel panel trees is durability and strength. There are some of our trees around Atlanta and the Southeast which have been coming out every Christmas for 20+ years, which is a long time for a Christmas décor item!

A very practical reason for investing in a panel tree is the ability to maintain and refurbish light line, bulbs, wiring harnesses, everything about it. If you need a panel tree redo, we're your folks!

Stop by and see us, we'll make sure all the pretty stuff is plugged in!


Email: sales@universalconceptsus.com     800.522.0718     www.christmasdecorandmore.com
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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

City Managers...Need to Appeal to Millenials? Try Interactive Public Lighting!

City Managers: does your city, town or park have a distinctly "Boomer" feeling? Is its vibe even older...like maybe a "Greatest Generation" vibe? Meaning...do all of your displays, your festivals, your public spaces, public art, and advertising and social media posts feature things which interest people over 50?

Stop a minute and think about the up-and-coming generation, about the generation that's creating an earthquake of social, cultural, and retail change in America: Millenials!  Millenials make their presence known in the work force with their distinct viewpoint: their social awareness makes them a group that uses and responds to social media. Their belief in causes makes them a natural group to tap for your solving your communities needs and challenges. Their interest in self-expression which is evident in their art, tastes, tattoos, and clothing choices...makes them a natural audience for super cool, super interactive lighting displays which capitalize on this youthful desire for expression.

Color Changing RGB bulbs make colors shift and dance in your public lighting displays
Color-changing RGB lights can draw your viewers into a dynamic visual and musical display.
An interactive lighting display which reacts to the music, speech and sounds around it is a fresh and innovative way to set your community apart in the public lighting that it chooses. Sound reactive technology like the type offered by Limbic Media is the best example we can think of. Let us provide you with a light display for your city or town, powered with this technology (check out this video)! Universal Concepts' own products and 3D pieces, our 30 years of experience creating and installing light shows, paired with this technology to make it into a playground for young people and families...what could be better?

Let us help you offer your Millenials a playground of light!


Email: sales@universalconceptsus.com     800.522.0718     www.christmasdecorandmore.com
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Friday, June 23, 2017

What makes a good City Manager?


Universal Concepts looks forward to seeing Georgia cities and towns at the GMA Trade show!
The Savannah Convention Center is hosting the Georgia Municipal Trade Association's 2017 show. 

The Georgia Municipal Association is meeting once again, and these days cities and towns are struggling to reach their citizens and be relevant to them. What new ideas will be circulating this year? We'll all find out!

Keeping your eye on the ball as a city manager is hard! Being able to balance innovation and progress with the boring task of maintaining your old obligations and programs is no small order. We've seen lots of cities and towns grow and change over the last three decades, and witnessed their efforts and promotional ideas, both good and bad. Let us opine for a minute about things that a successful city management team does:

SERVE

A good city manager is there to serve the people and businesses he or she represents. It sounds basic, but it's amazing how many city managers are trying to avoid that main directive.

COMMUNICATE

A leader is primarily an inspirer and a connecter of people. Are you as a city manager remembering to reach out and stay in touch with team members, and connect them to each other?

BRING PEOPLE IN

What makes a city vibrant, and rebuilds its vital areas? Building relationships with businesses who care about your city, building relationships with sponsors who are ready to financially help your city, and building relationships with young people or families who can attend events and make new venues successful.  What are examples of the three? Your restaurants and boutiques are businesses who have pride in your city and will enthusiastically respond to your ideas. An arts or business council or club is an example of a sponsor who can make your events successful and well-funded. And young millennials are examples of people who can make your events and places the "cool" place to be. They stand ready to knock it out of the park for you!

We'd love to give you our ideas about connecting with people! Give us a call and stop by Booth 4 at the GMA convention in Savannah this weekend!

Universal Concepts
800.522.0718
sales@universalconceptsus.com