Local officials and managing partners for the iconic holiday lights in Bloomington’s courthouse square are considering switching to more energy-efficient LED bulbs in as little as two years. But switching to LED may not yield savings right away.
Currently there are more than 200,000 light bulbs hanging in the canopy, trees and surrounding buildings downtown and these lights stay on for more than 500 hours during the holidays.
Jim Murphy is the president of CFC Properties, which maintains the lights on the trees and surrounding buildings of the square. He says switching to LED lighting would lower energy use and electricity costs. But Murphy says LED lights come with higher replacement costs. While the canopy lights are only replaced as needed, workers hang new lights on the trees every three years.
“The LED lights currently as of today are about twice as expensive as the incandescent lights so although we would save money in energy costs, we would actually spend more money in purchasing those lights every three years,” Murphy says.
The lights currently lining the trees and buildings are due to be replaced in two years. Murphy says a switch to LED lights would bring significant energy savings and he hopes the prices of LED lights decrease in the next two years making a switch to LED lights a no-brainer.