Mayor John Hickenlooper today officially unveiled new LED lights that will be used in the annual holiday display at the City and County Building. The energy-efficient lights were installed in recent months with the help of a $50,000 donation from the Walmart Foundation.
“The holiday display at City Hall is a great tradition in Denver,” Mayor Hickenlooper said. “We are grateful to the Walmart Foundation for its generous donation that helped make updating the lights possible, and we are proud to join the foundation in making our community a more energy-efficient place to live, work and play.”
City workers in past years have climbed all over the City and County Building to install 1,003 traditional flood lights in advance of the holidays. Then they would repeat the work to take the lights down after the New Year. This year, City workers installed 585 LED light fixtures that will stay on the building year-round. The new holiday display also will use more than 2,000 feet of LED rope light. The new LED lights are computer-controlled and can change 16 million different colors. Approximately five miles of electric cable was used for the entire display.
The total cost of the lighting conversion was $325,000 – the City paid $275,000, and Walmart provided the $50,000 donation. The LEDs will reduce the City and County Building’s energy demand, eliminating the need now to replace a $175,000 electrical panel. The City will save almost $180,000 annually moving forward, including $147,000 in labor costs, $18,000 in maintenance costs, $12,000 in equipment costs, and $2,500 in electricity costs.
Also, by using LED lamps and turning the display off one hour earlier each night, the 2009 display will reduce energy consumption by 80 percent. The display will save more than 33,400 kilowatt-hours of energy, and prevent the release of more than 55,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The LED bulbs can be expected to last more than six times longer than incandescent bulbs, reducing replacement costs for decades.
Also today, Josh Phair, senior manager for public affairs and government relations for the Rocky Mountain Region for Walmart, presented Mayor Hickenlooper with the 1st place U.S. Conference of Mayor’s Climate Protection Award for the City’s achievements on the FasTracks project. This is an award for sustainability that recognizes the work and actions being done by Greenprint Denver to secure the environmental health of future generations.
The annual Light the Lights event, where the entire holiday display at the City and County Building will be unveiled, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27. The lights will then turn on daily at 5:45 p.m. and stay on for five hours. The display will end Jan. 24, 2010.