The light of Christmas tree lights could soon be replaced with LEDs.
The US Department of Energy is developing a prototype of a small, inexpensive LED Christmas tree that will be installed at local parks, according to the company that made the prototype.
The light source is smaller and more lightweight than a traditional Christmas tree, but can still be seen from an angle and can be used for a variety of applications.
“The light is going to be much more effective in creating a better image,” said Michael Tressell, director of the energy and environment division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in an interview with The Next Word.
“It’s also going to have much greater light efficiency, which means that it’s much more likely to be visible.”
The project, known as a LED Christmas Tree, is being conducted by the US Department and is part of the department’s “Energy-efficient Lighting Initiative” (ELFLI), according to a Department of energy press release.
The LED Christmas Lights are part of an initiative aimed at “increasing energy efficiency and lowering the environmental impact of light-emitting devices,” according to DOE’s announcement.
A light-sensitive sensor attached to the tree would monitor the brightness of the LED light, and could be adjusted based on temperature, humidity, wind speed, and other factors, according the DOE press release and the company’s website.
The new LED tree could also be used as a Christmas tree decoration, or a holiday tree lighting display, according Tressel.
“There’s some real potential in it that is going into really high-energy applications,” he said.
“That’s a very exciting thing.”
He said the project could take years to develop and could cost $100,000.
The Christmas tree LED light source could also use about 10 to 20 times less electricity than traditional LED lights, he added.
The project has not yet been awarded a contract, but Tressell said it is possible the DOE could award it in the coming years.
The DOE does not provide a timeline for the completion of the project.
“They are very interested in it,” he added, noting that they are looking at several options including other countries.
In the meantime, Tressels said that the company is hoping to sell the LED Christmas lights to other governments in the future.
The company hopes to start selling the LEDs next year, he said, adding that the LEDs would be more energy efficient than traditional Christmas lights and would provide the lighting with a brighter and more uniform color.
The U.K. government is currently evaluating the LED lights as well, according a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
“We are looking closely at the potential for this project to have an impact on the UK electricity supply and also help improve the UK’s climate,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“Our energy efficiency targets are high and we are making progress on those.
The UK Government will make a decision in the near future about whether to award this contract.”