DEP Energy Tree on display through Jan. 6


Considering new lights for your tree this holiday season? If you are, or you’re just curious about LED (light-emitting diodes) lights, stop by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) headquarters from 6 to 9 p.m., on Friday, Dec. 6, for the kickoff of the agency’s newest outreach display, the DEP Energy Tree.

The display will allow you to provide the power, via hand crank, to light up a traditional 100-bulb incandescent tree and then an 800-plus light, 35-foot LED tree, draped to the side of the DEP building. By turning the crank and feeling resistance, you’ll better understand the different amount of electricity it takes to illuminate the incandescent tree, versus the more energy-efficient LED tree.

DEP staff will be on hand to answer questions and pass out refreshments. A special visitor will be with us, as well, so bring the kids and your camera!

LED lights use 90 percent less electricity than traditional incandescent lights and last up to 50,000 hours. Less energy use equals less pollution. Other advantages of LED holiday lights include:

• The ability to connect up to 43 premium strands, compared to five premium strands of incandescent lights;
• Since their color is in the diode and plastic, the lights will never fade, chip or peel like traditional lights can;
• Because LEDs operate at lower temperatures, they reduce fire risk indoors and out; and,
• While LED holiday lighting can be more expensive initially than traditional incandescent string lighting, LED lights will pay for themselves in a few seasons in terms of durability and lower power costs.

The LED display will be on the front of the DEP headquarters building, located at 601 57th St., S.E., Charleston, across from The Shoppes at Kanawha, and will be available from 6 to 9 p.m. every evening through Jan. 6, 2014.


Tom Aluise