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Seattle University

Answer Me This

How many lights does it take to illuminate SU’s Christmas tree in the Library Plaza?

November 23, 2011

O, Christmas tree, how do we light thy branches? 

Q:  How many lights does it take to illuminate SU’s Christmas tree in the Library Plaza?

A:  As we prepare to kick off the holidays with the annual tree lighting on Nov. 30, a question that might be on readers’ minds is just how that beautiful tannenbaum is lit. For the answer, The Commons reached back to an interview with Byron Lynch, lead maintenance electrician last year. 

“We decided to install energy-efficient LED lights which will be reused in future,” Lynch said. “We used 17 strings of 250, totaling 4,250 lights. Each string cost $28, totaling $476.” 

While comparable traditional lighting is initially cheaper at $12 per string, Lynch points out that the lights would have to be thrown away each year. Not only that, the burning cost for traditional lighting, at $12.24 a day, is 15 times the cost of powering the LEDs, which are using 10 kilowatts at just $.80 per day. 

Click on this video to see some of the sights and sounds from last year's event.