PLSN — December 2011
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Tree Lighting Ceremonies Feature Live Performances, LED Luster

NEW YORK — The 2011 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, held Nov. 30 and broadcast live on NBC, adorned a 74- foot spruce with 30,000 sparkling LED lights powered via 5 miles of cabling and a six-sided, 9.5-foot-diameter, 550- lb. star made with 25,000 Swarovski crystals. The star itself was lit with 720 LEDs.

The 10-ton tree, erected by two cranes and wrapped in towering scaffolding as the decorations were installed, was lit as part of a full-scale production that included Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and performances by Justin Bieber, Tony Bennett, Cee Lo Green, Michael Bublé, Neil Diamond, Carole King, Katharine McPhee, Javier Colon (NBC’s “The Voice”), Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush and the Radio City Rockettes.

The tree will stay lit through Jan. 7, 2012, and the use of LED lighting is reducing the tree’s energy demands from an estimated 3,510 to 1,297 kwH per day.

Other prominent ceremonies this holiday season included the lighting of the National Park Service’s National Christmas Tree, a First Family tradition since 1923, and the less-traditional, but still-dramatic lighting of the cone-shaped tree-like sculpture at Nokia Live in Los Angeles. That 54-foot-high structure is equipped with 10,000 LEDs.