Holiday displays sure are a highlight of the season, with hundreds or even thousands of pretty lights brightening up long winter evenings. But all those bulbs, even though often tiny, can add up to quite a lot in both energy and money. Wouldn’t it be great if there were an easy way to cut the cost of these displays significantly while keeping them just as colorful, bright and cheerful?
Well, the Towson Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of the Baltimore County holiday display, and Zerodraft Maryland, a Towson-based energy efficiency company, have found a way to do just that. Thanks to a partnership between the Chamber and Zerodraft, for the first time ever, the display will employ state-of-the-art, super-efficient LED lighting. Switching to LEDs will save the County an enormous 94% in electricity costs and energy over the old lights.
“For years, we wanted to replace the old incandescent lights with LEDs to save money and energy but couldn’t afford to because it was out of our budget,” said Nancy Hafford, the Chamber’s executive director. “But then Zerodraft approached us, suggested installing the LEDs, and graciously offered to sponsor the tree lighting this year and make the switch possible. We’re grateful for that and also delighted that these lights should last, and save money and energy, for many years to come,” Hafford added.
"At Zerodraft, our business is helping homeowners and business owners control and reduce their energy costs,” said Zerodraft principal Kurt Pfund. “When we heard that the County was still using older, incandescent lighting for its holiday display, we knew this was costing hundreds of dollars in unnecessary utility bills - and saw an opportunity to help.” Zerodraft has about 25 employees, most of whom live in Baltimore County, “and everyone was excited to hear that we would be helping with this project," Pfund added.
The company was able to slash energy usage and cost by replacing the old, inefficient, 5-watt bulbs – basically your garden-variety nightlight – with .3 watt state-of-the-art LEDs, said Jeffrey Mon, the firm’s materials and logistics manager. “They provide the same nice, warm color, and brightness as incandescents” for a mere fraction of the cost, he said. Plus, LEDs typically last 25,000 hours – a full 25 times longer than typical incandescents – so Towson should be able to use these lights for everyone’s enjoyment for many years, Mon added.
“Zerodraft got involved with the Chamber only recently, but they’ve already been wonderful neighbors,” Hafford said. Responding in kind, Pfund said, "We're proud members of the Towson Chamber of Commerce and love what they do to support local businesses and make Towson a great place to be, both during the holidays and the regular work week."
The holiday display, located at Olympian Park just off Towson Circle, will be lit Friday, November 29 at 6 p.m. and will brighten Towson nights from then into the New Year.