LED Lights Can Brighten Holiday Decorations for as Little as a Penny a Day, Dominion Website Shows

- Cost of lighting holiday tree can be less than 20 cents for the season
- Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) use 98 percent less electricity than conventional holiday lighting
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden features LEDs in Dominion GardenFest of Lights

RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Switching to LED (light-emitting diodes) holiday lights can bring a new brilliance to holiday decorations and save quite a bit of money and energy. An online energy calculator showing potential savings is available on the Dominion Virginia Power website, 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 them for six hours a day. That compares with 10 cents for three 100-bulb strings of incandescent "mini" or "icicle" lights.

"Highly efficient LED lights bring unequaled brilliance to illuminated holiday displays while saving energy and money," said Ken Barker, Dominion vice president of customer solutions and energy conservation. "Although LEDs are available in a wide range of colors, their environmental benefits make them a truly 'green' holiday decoration."

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).

One of the Richmond area's largest holiday light displays, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden's Dominion GardenFest of Lights (www.lewisginter.org), uses about 23 miles of LED strands in its 700,000-light display, which runs through Jan. 10, 2010.

"We continue to add more LEDs each year because they use less power but have great intensity and flexibility," said Frank Robinson, Executive Director of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. "A new use this year is a light curtain that is part of the train display; more than 1,600 twinkling LEDs will create a 'starry night' backdrop."

The popular GardenFest of Lights annual show has been renamed the Dominion GardenFest of Lights to recognize its title sponsor for the past 12 years. This year's event begins Nov. 26 and ends Jan. 10, 2011.

"The Dominion GardenFest of Lights has become a family tradition for many and our ongoing partnership with Dominion helps keep it fresh and exciting each year," said Robinson. "It's a natural fit for Dominion to be title sponsor of an event powered by electricity while at the same time focused on energy savings."

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 (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,600 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 13 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.  

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SOURCE: Dominion