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Helsinki’s Christmas street opens in environmentally conscious spirit

Eco-friendly LED lights replace traditional incandescent light bulbs

Helsinki’s Christmas street opens in environmentally conscious spirit
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The air was thick with "Yo-Ho-Ho" on Sunday as Christmas took another step closer.
      “Do my eyes deceive me or are the lamps larger than before?” This was the question on some people’s lips during the annual opening of the Aleksanterinkatu "Christmas Street" in downtown Helsinki.
      This year the ceremony of switching on the street’s Christmas lights had an eco-friendly feel to it. The traditional incandescent light bulbs had given way to 6,500 LED lights. The “greener” choice for the illumination of the central Helsinki shopping street divided opinions. In some people’s minds, however, the difference between the old and the new set of lights was marginal.
“They don’t look that different from the old ones. Perhaps slightly less yellow”, considered Mia Lehmusvaara, who had come to enjoy the ceremony - which at least from the commercial point of view marks the start of the Christmas season - along with her one-year-old son Eemeli.
      “Personally I prefer the white colour in the lights. It creates the right kind of atmosphere”, the young mother continued.
      “It feels exactly the same as before, but I suppose it’s a good thing if we’re heading in a more eco-friendly direction”, said Michael Franck. “In the run-up to Christmas such light shows grow smaller in importance. It is the small details that set the right tone at home. They speak to me more”, Franck continued, lifting up a two-year old Felix to wave at Santa Claus, who naturally felt it was a good thing we were all doing something on behalf of the planet he has been living on for hundreds of years.
      The snow that had been half-promised for the weekend did not show up.

Previously in HS International Edition:
  50, 000 witness switching on of Christmas lights in downtown Helsinki (22.11.2010)

Helsingin Sanomat

  21.11.2011 - TODAY
 Helsinki’s Christmas street opens in environmentally conscious spirit

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