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San Antonio purchases new set of LED Christmas lights for Riverwalk

The city of San Antonio purchased a new set of LED holiday lights to decorate its famed Riverwalk, according to KSAT. This marked the third year in a row that the city has had to purchase a new set of lights.

In 2010, the city followed a long-standing tradition of stringing incandescent bulb types that hung over and across the river. Last year, the city opted for the more eco-friendly and energy efficient option of wrapping 1.76 million LED lights around the many trees that line the Riverwalk's banks. Finally, the city chose to go back to a traditional draped look, but with the environmentally friendly LED Christmas lights instead of the archaic incandescent lights.

"I think there was a desire by the citizens, a lot of people, to go back to the draped look, so that was taken into consideration to go back to the traditional look that had been in San Antonio," Assistant Director of Downtown Operations Kelly Rafferty told the news source. "The [old] kind of lights, they're real small. They're mini-lights, they don't drape. They're so small so you need bigger lights to accomplish that."

The city's council members approved spending $650,000 on the new LED holiday lights display. However, despite having to purchase new lights for the third year in a row, city officials were able to assuage local residents by referencing the substantial energy savings that could be attained by using LED lights.

According to ENERGY STAR, switching from incandescent lighting to LED bulb types could save the city at least 75 percent in energy and electricity costs. Additionally, these bulbs last 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent lighting, so hopefully the city will be able to recycle them back into use next year.