Consistent with its ongoing efforts to promote sustainable practices, the City of Mason, Michigan, recently announced that it will begin to replace its incandescent holiday lights with energy-efficient LED Christmas lights. The first to be changed are the lights on the community’s Christmas tree, located on the Ingham County Courthouses west lawn.
In past years we have decorated the tree with about 500 C7 and C9 incandescent bulbs and about 25 percent would burn out each year, explained Doug Klein, executive director of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce. We also installed more power outlets underneath the tree with ground fault interrupters and we would still blow several fuses causing substantial portions of the tree to go dark, Klein added.
Mason is replacing the 500 old incandescent bulbs with 1200 C7 style multi-colored LED lights. The city, Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Authority shared the cost of the new lights. They purchased the lights from HolidayLEDs.com, a new e-commerce company specializing in LED holiday lights, located in Jackson, Michigan. The official tree lighting by Don Jacot, Masons citizen of the year, takes place on Friday, November 23 just after 6:00 p.m. during the Mason Holiday Celebration, which is followed by their annual electric light parade.
Not only will the City have more lights on its tree this year and save some money in electricity, the new LED lights are rated to last for more than 200,000 hours and will serve the City for many years to come, said Philip Curtis, co-owner of www.HolidayLEDs.com. The 1200 new LED lights will draw only 864 watts of power; feature professional weatherproof connectors, durable epoxy plastic bulbs, and all 1200 lights can be plugged into one standard outlet. These features should eliminate the problems Mason has experienced in the past with its holiday lights, added Curtis.
The Mason tree is illuminated each year for approximately six weeks beginning the day after Thanksgiving and ending after the New Year. The old C7 and C9 bulbs consumed an average of 6.5 watts per bulb which, after 42 days of 24-hour operation, consumed 3276 kilowatt hours of electricity (about $327 worth.) In contrast, the new 1200 LED Christmas lights will consume only 870 kilowatt hours of electricity (about $87 worth) during the same period. This will save the city about $250 each year while adding over 700 lights to its tree.
The choice to replace its lights with LEDs will have a substantial positive impact on the environment over the lifetime of the lights, Curtis explained. According to HolidayLEDs.com Energy Scrooge Calculator, switching the 500 incandescent lights to LEDs will reduce CO2 emissions by 521 pounds each year. This is the equivalent of planting 386 trees each year.