Celebrating the Past with Today’s Lighting Technology

GE re-creates elements of traditional past National Christmas Tree designs with modern, high efficiency LED lights

This year marks GE’s 50th year providing the design and lights for the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. This year also marks the 90 lighting of the National Tree. With this in mind, the new lighting design reflects elements of past designs and celebrates these impressive milestones.

The first lighting design for the National Christmas Tree featured very traditional red, green and white colored lights. Since GE’s participation, one of the earliest ornament designs by lighting engineer Alvin Hart, was shaped like a star. This year, as in the past three years, LED technology provides all the lighting. Green and red crystal miniature LED lights are complemented by twinkling warm white LEDs that add shimmer to the design. Star-shaped LED ornaments are adorned with a gold metallic finish. This finish also provides sparkle to the tree’s appearance during the day. The heirloom topper design, used for the eighth consecutive year, was upgraded with commercial grade Tetra®MAX LEDs.

“GE is very proud to be a part of this great, long standing tradition. It is very rewarding to use today’s lighting technology to create a beautiful, energy-efficient design that celebrates the past and symbolizes the hope and promise of the holiday season,” said Mary Beth Gotti, Manager of the GE Lighting Institute in Cleveland, Ohio.

The lighting design for this year’s National Christmas Tree includes approximately 450 LED light strings and 120 star ornaments, for a total of just under 4000 watts. If this same design were to be implemented with standard incandescent holiday lights, approximately 20,000 watts would be required. Over the course of the holiday lighting season, the environmental impact of this energy savings is the avoidance of burning about one ton of coal, and a 4000-pound reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Watch the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony