Simpson decks the halls

by Ben Rodgers

As the holiday season nears, many people begin to bring out lighting and decorations to celebrate the season. As the city and citizen of Indianola set up their illuminating decorations, so does Simpson College.

The Simpson College grounds crew sets up lights all over campus including all of the lights in Smith Chapel, trees and bushes within the quad and the large pine tree in front of Hopper.

With extra lighting around the holiday, one question that can be raised is if the use of these lights affects the cost of electricity in anyway for the college. According to J.J. Thorius, grounds manager, yes and no.

“Everything we now have on campus is LED lighting,” Thorius said. “You’ll still have some increase in lighting though, just because you’re plugging more stuff in.”

According to Thorius, all of the lighting on the tree in front of Hopper only uses roughly about thirteen to fourteen amps of electricity.

“Really, that’s not much more than your normal household appliance, such as a microwave or a blender,” said Thorius. “With the LED’s and the technology they use, it’s incredible with what you can do with the cost.”

According to Thorius, the cost increase with LED’s is minimal to the old styles of bulbs that they used. He said that in the years past, the cost of electricity did increase due to the type of bulbs they used and the amount of lights they have set out.

Since part of the holiday season is during break, to stay festive, Simpson leaves on the lights, but only the ones that can be seen by the roadways and the rest of the community.

All the Christmas lights used are tied into the rest of the light system on campus, turning on at dusk and then off in the morning. According to Thorius, leaving the new LED lights on all night and when students are not on-campus, the college is still using less electricity then they use to.

Thorius estimated that Simpson uses around 23,450 lights, with 2,950 in Smith Chapel, 3,000 at the president’s house, 4,500 around main campus and 13,000 on the tree in front of Hopper.

“I think a lot of people enjoy the fact that we put Christmas lights around campus,” said Thorius. “Are there people who care less one way or the other, yes, but I think a majority of the people like what we do and that we at lest do something to celebrate the holiday seasons.”