Posted Monday, November 23rd, 2009by admin
It seems like most retailers this year are pushing their LED holiday lights—and with good reason. LED lights trump their old-fashioned incandescent counterparts in every category.
It’s true that LED light strands cost more than the old kind upfront—you’ll be paying about 25%-30% more to hang them from your home’s gutters—but you’re getting such a better product for your one-time investment. It would be like buying a Tesla electric car—of course it costs about $100,000 more than a Honda Civic, but think about how much more satisfaction the Tesla will bring you. The Tesla looks better and I’m willing to bet it’s a heck of a lot more fun to drive.
If you’re willing to “test-drive” LED holiday lights this year, you’re going to notice their energy savings right away. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs use just 9.3% of the energy of a standard mini-bulb string and a mere 2.2% of a standard C-7 string (See chart below).
LED strands have some other pretty cool advantages as well: They’re shatterproof and nearly impossible to break, which means if you drop them off your ladder and step on them on your way back down, they will still be intact. LED strands are also built with longevity in mind—the bulbs are rated for 50,000 hours, have no filaments to burn out, and the bulb contacts are coated with zinc to fend off rust. Those old strands can’t even come close!
You can bet that my pathetic old half-broken holiday lights are on their way to be recycled—I think it’s definitely time to trade them in for a shiny new Tes…I mean a great strand of LED lights.
Here are the energy consumption numbers the Department of Energy came up with:
The cost of running each type of light string for 12 hours per day for 40 days:
Type of Light
Electricity Cost *
(125 bulbs, 4 watts each)
|Mini incandescent lights
(300 bulbs, 0.4 watts each)
|LED holiday lights
(280 bulbs, 0.04 watts each)
*Assumes an electricity price of 10.5 cents per kilowatt hour (Annual Energy Outlook 2008 Residential Average).