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LED lighting makes its Super Bowl debut

This Sunday's big game between the Seahawks and Patriots will be the first Super Bowl lit entirely by LED fixtures.

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Super Bowl Sunday brings witty commercials, slow cooked snack food, ostentatious halftime performances, and, of course, plenty of gridiron action. This year, though, Super Bowl XLIX is bringing something else, too: high efficiency LED lighting.

This Sunday for the first time in the game's history, the NFC and AFC champions will square off in a stadium lit entirely with LED fixtures. The new Cree LED-powered fixtures were installed in Glendale, Arizona, at the University of Phoenix Stadium earlier this season by sports lighting outfitter Ephesus Light. The move is estimated by Ephesus to have reduced the stadium's lighting consumption from 1.24 million watts to 310,000 watts for energy savings of 75 percent.

Ephesus' team also claims that their fixtures provide brighter, more uniform lighting than the metal halide luminaries they replace, and better color accuracy, too. Additionally, since brighter light means that the cameras covering the action don't need to open their apertures quite as wide, Ephesus also claims that the new lights will lead to clearer picture at your Super Bowl party, and also for the officials scrutinizing slow-motion replays of that pivotal last-second Hail Mary.

Something else to consider is that the new LED fixtures can be turned on instantly, whereas metal halide lights require about 20 minutes to warm up. That warm-up period was part of the reason for the extended delay resulting from a mid-game lighting blackout during Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.

Super Bowl XLIX will see the New England Patriots square off against last year's champs the Seattle Seahawks, with kickoff scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET.