This year, GE Lighting  marks its 50th year of lighting the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C.
And although America has been watching the National Christmas Tree light up every December since 1923, this year is a little different. The tree's LED lighting shines as bright as ever but consumes 80 percent less energy (4,000W vs. about 20,000W) compared with incandescent technology.
"Our design this year pays tribute to the first National Christmas Tree while underscoring the transformational power of LEDs," says John Strainic, general manager of consumer lighting for GE Lighting. "We encourage consumers who love the robustness, long life and energy cost savings of LED holiday lights to explore what LEDs can do in other rooms and applications throughout the year."
When this year's National Christmas Tree is illuminated, it will glimmer with thousands of LED lights, including 450 strands of LED lights and 120 star-shaped LED ornaments adorned with a gold metallic finish, a feature that will make the tree sparkle not just at night, but all day long. To commemorate the first tree lighting nine decades ago, an heirloom topper design will be outfitted for greater efficiency, longer life and brighter light output using a commercial-grade GE Tetra®MAX LED system that's typically used in commercial signage.
In addition to the National Christmas Tree, 57 smaller trees surrounding it will be illuminated with GE LED lights — one for every state and U.S. territory. Each will sparkle with red, green and white lights in tribute to the original National Tree.
Watch the National Tree lighting as it happens Dec. 6 at 4:30 p.m. through a live stream on http://www.thenationaltree.org .