From Flambeaux to LED lights, putting on and lighting parades in New Orleans has come a long way. For the first time in the history of Krewe of Endymion, LED lights will play a major role in the “Superkrewe’s” parade.
More than 1,200 LED “tubes” will illuminate 38 of Endymion’s floats. Krewe Captain Ed Muniz says it makes economic and environmental sense.
“I think Mardi Gras, like everything else, has got to improve with the times, said Muniz.
Muniz says the Krewe is spending about $1 million for lighting this year. Working with Blaine Kern Studios, they tapped ProLumin to head up the project. Ryan Dolese is ProLumin’s president and says by choosing LED lights, the Krewe is saving money and energy in the long run.
“You’re burning half the wattage of a traditional lamp which is about 32 watts. With these LED units we're burning 18 watts, so essentially half the energy is being used to create more light. It means we’re using less energy when running off the generators on the floats,” said Dolese.
The switch to more efficient means of lighting may have been inevitable. The Federal government is phasing out those traditional incandescent bulbs we’ve been accustomed to seeing.
Ultimately, from the perspective of the parade organizer, it’s all about the look. Muniz and Krewe say the LED lights just look better. Muniz says in past parades, the work and detail artists have placed on the lower side panels of floats were lost because of the weaker incandescent lights.
“With an LED being directional, it allows us to broadcast the light where we wanted to go. So instead of blowing light in every different direction, we can aim the lights up the side of the floats and actually highlight the work the artists do all year,” said Ryan Dolese.
LEDs are expected to a play bigger role in Carnival’s future which under viewed under their lights looks pretty bright. Endymion rolls on its traditional Mid-City route Saturday. This year's theme is "An Evening at the Opera."