Big change to South Bend Christmas lights - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Big change to South Bend Christmas lights


Friday night in Downtown South Bend Nicole Phillips said, "it looks very bright and very pretty."

She and many others love the Downtown Christmas lights.  Garrett Hill said,  "It's nice to walk down the street and see all the Christmas lights."

Now there's another reason to love them, they're saving energy and money.

Joel Barrett with Downtown South Bend said, "this year we focused on Michigan St and all of these lights have been turned into LED lights."  Barrett said about 20,000 light bulbs or half of the city's Christmas lights are now more energy efficient thanks to the LED lights.  "We're saving over 23,000 kilowatt hours which translates to about $2500 dollars a year of savings in energy costs."

Definitely a big incentive for switching the bulbs.  But it wasn't the only reason the city did this  Barrett said, "one we just wanted to be more green, we've been trying to do that Downtown.  The other is we have a lot of lights and if we're not careful we start overloading circuits. "

Another plus?  These new LED bulbs will last much longer than regular bulbs.  Barrett said, "these LED light bulbs are expected to last 15 to 20 years."

The previous non LED bulbs didn't last anywhere close to that long.  "A lot of the tree lights we had to replace every single year," said Barrett, "the snowflakes probably a good half of those lights would go out every year and we'd have to reap lace them.  This is a big improvement.

Those who live in South Bend agree Hill said, "LED lights are good, they're much more cost efficient.  They look great.  I think they save a lot of money."  Phillips said "I think that it's more energy efficient and safer."

Their favorite part about these new bulbs?  They save money.  "Anyway our city can save money is a good idea," said Phillips.

For the snowflake lights all of those bulbs had to be changed by hand one at a time.  That's About 3,400 lights.  To get all of that done DTSB started working on the lights back in August.

They'll work on changing the second half of the city's Christmas lights next year.  That will include the wreath lights, garland lights, and the big Christmas tree.

Speaking of the big tree it was lit up for the first time Friday night.  People gathered in front of the Morris Performing Arts Center to watch the lights turn on.  It was part of DTSB's First Friday event.  There were also fireworks and the main event, a visit from Santa.

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