National Christmas Tree Lighting Goes Green
With the 84th lighting of the National Christmas Tree last night by President George W. Bush in Washington, DC, the Colorado spruce, which has stood in place for 28 years, went green. When Bush flipped the switch just before 6:00 p.m., 20,280 fingertip-sized LED bulbs sparkled. For the first time, energy-efficient LEDs, which were actually thought brighter and more beautiful by the crowd, were used to save money and electricity.
LEDS are cool to the touch and colors don’t fade because there’s no heat. They use about 10 percent of the energy that a standard incandescent bulb would use. And, they’re almost indestructible and should last for years to come. Nadarajah Narendran, director of research at the Lighting Research Center in Troy, N.Y., says the lights have a “better sparkle.”
According to The Washington Post: “Traditional lights burn white and get their color from filters. But LEDs are created out of semiconductors; changing their composition changes their color, across the spectrum from blue to red…They don’t heat up. Instead, the atoms have charges that combine and release light.”
For 12 years, Kathy Presciana, a General Electric lighting specialist, has designed the tree. She says the tree will use 60 percent less energy this year due to the LEDs. She said, “It looks traditional but, behind the scenes, it’s really efficient.”
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Photo credit: Marvin Joseph / The Washington Post
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