- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City’s traditional Thanksgiving Day lighting ceremony on the Country Club Plaza will be brighter and more energy efficient this year, when 85 percent of the bulbs will be LEDs rather than incandescent bulbs.

Highwoods Properties, owner of the shopping and entertainment district, has been researching the use of the LED lights for about 10 years but had to wait until the energy efficient lights were available in the styles, colors and with technology capable of providing a display enjoyed by thousands of people as the unofficial start of the Christmas season in Kansas City, The Kansas City Star reported (https://bit.ly/13MqRWF ).

An LED, or light emitting diode bulb, uses 0.46 watts, while the traditional holiday bulbs each use 10 watts. The company would not say how much it spent on the LED conversion, which started in 2010 when green lights that matched the traditional green bulbs became available.

More colors and sizes were added each year and Highwoods is hoping to have 100 percent LED lights for next year’s ceremony.

“That’s if they come up with a really beautiful match for the biggest bulb that we use in a variety of colors and in a variety of places here on the Plaza,” said Gayle Terry, a spokeswoman for the Plaza’s office. “It is important for us to be efficient but it is equally as important that these lights be as beautiful as everyone remembers and expects them to be.”

Terry McGowan, director of engineering for the American Lighting Association, said the Plaza has a reputation for being choosy about its lights so the conversion to LEDs is important.

“They do a business in nostalgia, and they don’t want to upset the viewers,” he said.

Holiday light bulbs were exempted from the federal law requiring the phasing out of other incandescent bulbs but they have become increasingly popular for residential, business and sports venues because of energy savings of about 80 percent.


Information from: The Kansas City Star, https://www.kcstar.com

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