LED Lights Can Brighten Your Holidays for As Little As a Penny a Day, Dominion Web Tool Shows






RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Switching to LED (light-emitting diodes) holiday lights can save quite a bit of money and energy. Just how much can be seen with a new energy calculator. The calculator is available online at http://www.dom.com/about/conservation/holiday-calculator.jsp and on the Dominion Virginia Power Web site, www.dom.com, keyword "holiday calculator."


The calculator shows that three 100-bulb strings of LED lights cost Dominion Virginia Power customers just a penny a day for electricity to light a home or tree for six hours a day. That compares with 10 cents a day for three 100-bulb strings of incandescent "mini" or "icicle" lights.


"Highly efficient LED lights bring unequalled brilliance to illuminated holiday displays while saving energy and money," said Paul D. Koonce, chief executive officer of Dominion Virginia Power. "While LEDs are available in a wide range of colors, their environmental benefits make them a truly 'green' holiday decoration. LED holiday lights save up to 98 percent of the electricity needed to power conventional bulbs."


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 (EPRI: www.epri.com).


Kenneth D. Barker, vice president of planning for Dominion, offered opening remarks on Nov. 27 for the grand illumination of one of the Richmond area's largest holiday light displays, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden's GardenFest of Lights (www.lewisginter.org). The GardenFest uses more than 20 miles of LED strands in its 600,000-light display, which runs through Jan. 11, 2010.


"In partnership with Dominion, we continue to evolve our holiday tradition of GardenFest, with a goal of using less energy while illuminating the Garden with greater intensity, creativity and flexibility through the use of LEDs," said Frank Robinson, Executive Director.


"We invite the community to come enjoy our ever-changing and expanding LED displays. This year (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI-RIJ_tUrQ) we have added a gigantic 50-foot-diameter purple coneflower, our new Lotus Bridge - a shining ribbon of light linking the Rose Garden and Children's Garden - and a menagerie of larger-than-life butterflies, dragonflies, bees and other whimsical winged insects."


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.


Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,500 megawatts of generation. Dominion serves retail energy customers in 12 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at http://www.dom.com.


SOURCE: Dominion Virginia Power

Web site: http://www.dom.com/