Brooklyn Columbia Central High School Class of 2014’s float for this year’s homecoming celebration will feature LED Christmas lights powered entirely by solar energy. 

The lights, battery and solar panel for the the Class of 2014’s float were provided by Jackson based, an e-commerce company that specializes in energy efficient LED Christmas lights.

“We have a lot of customers who have expressed interest in solar powered Christmas lights and we’ve tested several products but haven’t found any good solutions out there,” said Philip C. Curtis of 

Heather Ruhlman, a parent of one of the Class of 2014, students works at and asked if the company would be willing to donate some LED Christmas lights to the students for the float. 

“It was really good timing, when Heather told me about her daughter’s float project we were in the middle of putting together a solar panel and battery unit to use with our LED Christmas lights,” Curtis said. “We were happy to donate some light sets but we were also looking for an opportunity to test out our newly developed solar powered unit.”

The Class of 2014 students working on the float agreed to use the solar powered battery unit to power the donated LED Christmas lights instead of the gas powered generator the students had originally planned to use.

The theme for this year’s homecoming parade at Columbia Central is board games. The theme for the Class of 2014’s float is “Mouse Trap.”  The float, designed and built by students of the Class of 2014 (and their ingenuitive parents) features a large mechanical boot which kicks a bucket setting a ball in motion which ultimately sets off a mouse trap device just as in the popular board game. The students used the energy efficient LED Christmas lights to decorate the based of the float in the schools colors, blue and gold. White LED Christmas lights were also used to spell the words “Mouse Trap.”

“Obviously, the environmental impact of the students running a small generator for a few hours is negligible; however, I think this is a cool way to demonstrate to people that powering new energy efficient lighting is viable with alternative sources of energy,” Curtis said.

The LED Christmas lights sets used by the Columbia Central students consume less than 4 watts of power per string and will be powered by a 12 volt battery which will be charged with solar power.

If you would like to see the Columbia Central Class of 2014 float or participate in the homecoming events the parade starts right after school at approximately 3 p.m. in downtown Brooklyn.

For more information or to learn how to make your own solar powered Christmas lights please visit

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.


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