LED holiday lights can save money, reduce fire risk


As we round the corner coming into Thanksgiving, we already see the holiday decorations donning the isles of many stores, we hear the Christmas carols playing on the radio and we feel the holiday season upon us.
If you are like many Americans, you are dragging out the boxes that hold all your tree ornaments, dusting off the plastic reindeer that will clutter up the yard for a month (or two or three) and trying to make sense of the tangled mess of lights that we string around every inch of the house so Santa can see our house from outer space.
If your string of lights are more than 20 years old, it’s highly likely that they are incandescent and should be replaced with LEDs.
Light-emitting diode (LED) technology can be used in place of incandescent holiday light bulbs to keep electricity costs low and reduce the risk of fire during the holiday season.
A string of 125 large C7 incandescent bulbs using 4 watts per bulb would use 500 watts when turned on. A string of 300 miniature incandescent bulbs using 0.4 watts each would use 120 watts when turned on. In contrast, a string of 300 LED bulbs using 0.04 watts each would use only 12 watts when turned on.
If each of these strings ran for 12 hours per day over a 40-day period (be real, you know they aren’t coming down until Valentine’s Day), the C7 incandescent string would cost a typical home $24, the miniature incandescent string would cost $5.76, and the LED string would cost 57 cents. Households running multiple strings can experience even greater savings.
The increased up-front cost of the LED lights can typically be offset in two to three holiday seasons when compared to mini incandescents.
Other advantages of using LED holiday lights include: their long life span (typically 20,000 hours or 40 holiday seasons); their cool temperature (reducing the risk of fire); and reduced risk of overloading the wall socket when connecting multiple strings.
Be safe this holiday season and save some energy: purchase LED lights. And, please, take down the reindeer in the front yard before putting up the giant heart.