The River Walk, a San Antonio treasure and one of Texas’ top attractions, will be aglow this holiday season with more than 1.76 million multi-colored light-emitting diode (LED) lights wrapping the trees and lining the street bridges along its banks. The new energy efficient lighting not only enhances the experience to all who visit the River Walk, but it also adds 20 times more lights, utilizes less than half the energy of traditional incandescent lighting and supports long-term sustainability efforts.
Earlier this year, the City of San Antonio converted 85,000 incandescent lights to 100 percent LED lights for this year’s River Walk Holiday Lights experience. Using more than 1.76 million LED mini-bulbs will save the equivalent of approximately 33,000 kilowatt-hours of energy. The LED lighting is durable and is expected to last 10 years in comparison to incandescent bulbs, which were replaced annually.
Local lighting consultant and renowned artist Bill FitzGibbons, who has created LED lighting displays across the world, developed the LED lighting plan for the City of San Antonio. In addition to the minibulbs, the eco-friendly lights incorporate the addition of multi-color programmable holiday accent lighting on all 22 street bridges at the River Walk. The lights will be wrapped on 170 trees lining the river, as high as 60 feet. To further enhance the Holiday experience, 26 heritage or iconic trees will feature up-lighting.
The enhanced LED lighting plan compliments Mayor Julián Castro’s inaugural Light Up Downtown Holiday Lighting Contest, which showcases creative holiday LED lighting displays at participating businesses on the street level. Both initiatives aim to bring visitors to downtown San Antonio this Holiday season while encouraging sustainability and energy conservation. For more information, visit http://www.lightupdowntownsa.com/.
The new holiday look will officially light up San Antonio’s skyline at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 25, 2011 at the Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony. According to the Paseo del Rio Association, an estimated 125,000 spectators come to the annual event. For tickets to this year’s parade, visit http://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/ or call (210) 227-4262.