Going for the Green
The Ahwatukee Festival of Lights is believed to be the first major public holiday display in Maricopa County to go all LED.
Instead of the traditional incandescent lights, more environmentally friendly LED strands are being installed for the display that decorates the median strip along Chandler Boulevard from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.
The million white LED lights are expected to cut energy consumption by 85 percent. The large trailer-mounted diesel generators set up in the medians in the past to power the lights required hundreds of gallons of gas per day. The LED lights need fewer and smaller generators.
The mile of white lights used more than 1,030 amps of power last year, event organizers say. They predict using 150 amps this year.
In this case it appears to be both.
I think this demonstrates the economic reality of "going green." It has to make economic sense. The LED lights will reduce costs because they reduce energy consumption. Note that the primary objective was not energy savings.
Jim Crouch, Festival of Lights president said the decision to go green had to do with dollars and cents, ensuring the display can afford to continue.
"The reduction in expenses associated with this change in the lights used is significant over time and is something we simply could not pass up," Crouch said.