GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A lighted ball to be lowered at a western Michigan celebration on New Year's Eve has received a makeover to improve its energy efficiency.
As part of its sponsorship of a celebration Tuesday in downtown Grand Rapids, utility Consumers Energy has replaced 450 halogen light bulbs used in previous years with light-emitting diode bulbs.
The unit of Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. says the new bulbs use about 80 percent less electricity than similar halogen bulbs and will last up to 20 times longer. The utility hopes the switch will encourage its customers to do the same to save energy.
The utility is putting a promise to help save energy "into action with the new LEDs lighting up the ball," Garrick Rochow, vice president of customer operations and quality, said in a statement.
Thousands of people are expected Tuesday night for the event, officially called the Fox KIA HOT New Year's Eve Party. Event sponsors will light the ball at 6:30 p.m. and the ball is scheduled to begin its 100-foot descent one minute before midnight.