Saying 'Go Ravens' with a purple glow

From nail polish to cupcakes, Ravens purple is everywhere as fans pay tribute to their Super Bowl-bound team.

But what if you want your outdoor landscape to glow purple?

In Towson, Greater Baltimore Medical Center is doing just that.

GBMC is covering many of its outdoor light fixtures in purple gel. Pedestrian areas, especially, will become empurpled paths.

"This is only one piece of our celebration week," said Kim Davenport, community relations manager for GBMC. "We are using gels on our accent lighting, such as for walkways and lights along the main circle to Gilchrist Hospice Care."

When it needed purple gel, GBMC turned to Shepherd Electric Supply Co. in Rosedale, a regular supplier to the hospital that also provided the gel to purple-ize the campus when the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2000.

The gel is a plastic sheeting sold in 12-inch-wide rolls. It is widely used as a color filter in theatrical lighting.

Frank Hepner, salesman for Shepherd Electric, said his firm began receiving requests for purple light bulbs around the time of the 2000 Super Bowl.

"Those were not very available, so we came up with the idea of theatrical gel," he said.

Hepner said there has been a sharp jump in demand for the gel from businesses and institutions, community, which provide the supply firm with most of its sales. Among the gel customers has been the University of Maryland-Baltimore, Sinai Hospital, Mercy Medical Center and Northwest Hospital, he said.

Caution must be used with the gel, especially by placing it the right distance from hot high wattage lighting.

"It's a plastic and it will melt," Hepner said.

Under what circumstances might GBMC switch back to its regular lighting?

"When we win," said Davenport, pausing from emphasis. "We will still keep our purple lights on. That's all I'm going to say."

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