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Dominion Offers Bright Idea for Holiday Displays: Use "Led" Lights for Decoration


* Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) save energy and money, generate less heat
* Online calculator provides customers with energy savings information
* Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is switching to LEDs for GardenFest of Lights

Dominion Virginia Power is encouraging its customers to choose holiday decorations that use LEDs (light emitting diodes) as an energy-efficient, economical, and safe alternative to incandescent lights.

“LED holiday lights are a great way to increase electrical energy efficiency while enjoying the beauty of illuminated holiday displays,” said David A. Heacock, president of Dominion Virginia Power. “LEDs save up to 98 percent of the electricity needed to power conventional bulbs and are safer because they generate much less heat.

“Although these holiday lights cost more than incandescents, they can pay for themselves in the first year of electricity savings,” Heacock said. The cost to light a holiday tree with LEDs is 13 cents to 17 cents per season, compared to $6 to $10 for incandescent lights, according to the Electric Power Research Institute.

Dominion customers have a handy new tool at their disposal – an energy calculator on the company’s Web site – to help them determine the amount of energy and money they can save by switching to LED holiday lights. To utilize the calculator, go to, keyword “holiday calculator.”

One of the Richmond area’s largest holiday light displays, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s GardenFest of Lights, uses more than 18 miles of LED strands in its 500,000-light display, which runs through January 12, 2009.

“We are working in partnership with Dominion to create a holiday light festival that requires less energy and yields more intensity and flexibility by using LEDs,” said Frank L. Robinson, Lewis Ginter’s executive director. “We invite the public to come see how we are expanding our use of LEDs to create flamboyant peacocks, luminous 10-foot dragonflies and larger-than-life butterflies.”

For illumination, LEDs use electron movement in tiny semiconductors—miniature versions of the chips that help run computers – instead of filaments like incandescent bulbs. They are manufactured in a variety of traditional shapes, sizes, and colors that blink and flicker. Because LEDs are encased in hard plastic instead of fragile glass, they are more durable.

EPRI estimates potential annual electricity cost savings in the nation would exceed $250 million if all seasonal mini-lights were switched to LEDs. This translates into a potential carbon emissions reduction of 400,000 tons per year, the equivalent of removing 65,882 automobiles from roads for one year.


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