Another LED light exchange planned

After giving out coupons for 150 sets of LED lights last month at Canadian Tire here, the Fort Frances Power Corp. will hold a similar promotion again Dec. 8 to get more people to be energy-conscious this Christmas.
“We were quite pleased with the response,” FFPC president and CEO Jim Kibiuk said about the first exchange, in which the FFPC offered to give people a coupon to get a set of LED lights at Canadian Tire if they turned in one string of their old incandescent ones.
“We had very informative sessions, making people aware of the actual energy savings,” Kibiuk added.
“We had a display model of old incandescent versus LED,” he noted. “What it allowed us to do is show them, with a meter hooked up courtesy of Canadian Tire, the consumption. It’s astounding.
“We had a handout which stated: ‘One seven-watt incandescent old-style light bulb consumes the same amount of electricity as 140 LED bulbs.’ That little statement right there opened people’s eyes,” Kibiuk remarked.
Some other facts people learned about LED lights were:
•A string of LED “strawberry” lights uses only 0.05 watts of electricity per bulb compared to a traditional incandescent light consuming seven watts per bulb;
•Although LED lights cost more to buy, they pay for themselves in one-five years through reduced energy use and bulb replacement;
•LED lights can last up to 200,000 hours compared to 1,000 hours for a traditional incandescent string; and
•LED lights are safer. They’re more durable, with no filament or glass bulbs to break, and they produce very little heat, reducing the risk of fire.
Kibiuk noted the information the FFPC was giving out to the public at the light exchange convinced many to choose LED over incandescent bulbs.
While some people brought in one string of lights to get a coupon for another, others brought in several strings lights just to get rid of them and completely switch over to LED.
“I think it went extremely well,” agreed Canadian Tire owner Angus McDonald, noting the ratio of coupons given out to the amount of lights sold wasn’t 1:1.
While McDonald said he can’t foresee phasing incandescent lights out of his inventory in the near future (LED lights remain slightly too expensive for everyone’s budget), the rate of transition is greater than he anticipated.
For those who didn’t come out for the exchanges, held Nov. 15 and 17, or didn’t know about the promotion, the FFPC will give them another chance.
“We’re going to continue it,” said Kibiuk. “On Dec. 8, we’re going to have a public information session with an energy conservation officer from Thunder Bay.
“And fortunately, we do have some more coupons available and we’re going to continue the LED exchange for Christmas lights at that evening session,” he added.
This public session slated for Thursday, Dec. 8 will take place in the auditorium at the Memorial Sports Centre.
Doors open at 6 p.m., with speaker Wayne Sunohara, supervisor of energy conservation services for Thunder Bay Hydro, starting his presentation at 7 p.m.
Like the exchange at Canadian Tire last month, the first 150 people simply can bring in one string of their regular outdoor Christmas lights and a FFPC bill as proof they’re a customer, and trade them in for a coupon for a string of energy-efficient LED lights (a $15 value).
These lights then can be purchased at Canadian Tire, where customers can find more even more strings if they need them. There is a limit of one exchange per family (and is limited to FFPC customers only).
In related news, the FFPC is trying to get the Town of Fort Frances in on similar energy conservation this holiday season.
“To benefit everyone in Fort Frances, we’re going to work with the town hall and exchange a hundred strings of lights on [the Civic Centre] to LED,” noted Kibiuk.
“So, it’ll save town hall money—and show the benefit of LED to everyone in Fort Frances.”
He added that while this won’t mean all the Christmas lights at the Civic Centre will be replaced this season, at least 100 strings will be and this should enough to decorate the trees in front of the town hall.
The FFPC then will replace any remaining incandescent Christmas lights at the Civic Centre with LED ones next winter.
What’s more, the FFPC will be replacing traffic lights around town with LED versions in the next month or so.
These are expected to save the town $8,000 a year, using 85 percent less electricity, having brighter displays, and needing less maintenance than the current lights.