Save Money by Switching to Modern LED Holiday Lights

Shining a New Light on the Holidays

With LED lights, you can save money on your electric bill this holiday season. (Photo:

With LED lights, you can save money on your electric bill this holiday season. (Photo:

With the holiday season fast approaching, now is the time to consider switching out your old incandescent holiday lights for modern light-emitting diode (LED) lights. LED technology has been used for years as electronic indicators and as easily adjustable signs. However, with the development of high power LEDs, they are coming to be used more frequently for general lighting purposes. From mobile flashlights to automotive headlights, LED lighting is becoming much more common throughout society, including as holiday lights.

LEDs Are More Energy Efficient

When compared to old-fashioned incandescent lights, LED lights are much more energy-efficient. While the old lights are somewhat brighter, LED lights consume much less electricity. This can amount to actual savings. Most incandescent holiday light strings use between 12- to 105-kilowatt hours of electricity, whereas similar sized LED strings use between one and three kilowatt hours. In real terms this means that by changing to LED lights, you can potentially save between $1 and $11 on your electricity bill for every month that your lights are turned on this holiday season.

LEDs Are More Durable

Beyond the savings on your electric bill, LED lights can also save you money because they are much more durable and do not have to be replaced as frequently as incandescent holiday lights. Unlike incandescent lights that get extremely hot, LED lights also stay much cooler, which allows them to be encased in plastic as opposed to glass. The result is that LED lights are more durable and are not as easy to break. Similarly, LED lights also burn much longer than incandescent lights. Most incandescent light strings lose at least one bulb after about 1,000 hours of use, whereas LED lights tested by Consumer Reports managed to go for more than 4,000 hours without any of the bulbs burning out.

LEDs Are Also Safer

In that LED holiday lights burn at a much cooler temperature than incandescent ones, they also represent much less of a fire risk. There have been a few cases of LED light recalls due to potential fire threats, but this had more to do with the wiring than the lights themselves. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the LED lights you purchase have been tested and certified by a legitimate testing laboratory like Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Intertek (ETL). That being said, all the major insurance companies and product testers agree that LED lights represent much less of a fire risk than incandescent holiday lights.

Look for Incentive Programs

The current trend toward greater energy efficiency has also resulted in two types of incentives meant to encourage you to buy LED holiday lights and both may save you even more money. The first type of incentive is being offered by some retailers, such as Home Depot. These incentives offer discounts to people purchasing LED holiday lights and allows the store to capitalize on the trend by actively supporting more energy-efficient options. Similarly, some communities that have aggressively taken on energy efficiency are also offering incentives. For example, in Anaheim, California, people who purchase LED holiday lights receive a free gift card to other businesses (Starbucks, Borders, etc.) as an incentive initiated by the local public utilities administration.

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