Deck the Halls with LEDs
Consider the energy efficient option when decorating this ChristmasBy Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen, Collaborative Efficiency
Already planning this year’s Christmas decoration extravaganza? Help keep electric bills low by making energy-efficient LED lights a part of the plan. LED lights use about 80 percent less energy that their incandescent counterparts.
The reason incandescent bulbs are so inefficient is that at least 90 percent of their energy is converted into heat, not light. LEDs, by contrast, convert virtually all their energy to light. This means up to 20 strings of LED lights can be linked together, whereas incandescent sets are typically limited to between three and five strings in a chain. The efficiency of LED lights also makes them safer because they generate so much less heat.
Aside from their energy efficiency, LED lights can last longer — around 200,000 hours or more, which is about 25 times longer than incandescent lights. The bulb is more durable because it is made of an epoxy instead of glass.
But not all LEDs are created equal. An LED that is not designed properly can flicker, change color or draw power even when it’s turned off.
But not all LEDs are created equal. An LED that is not designed properly can flicker, change color or draw power even when it’s turned off. To avoid these problems, purchase Energy Star®-rated LEDs. To qualify for the Energy Star rating, LED products must use 75 percent less energy than incandescent lighting and pass a number of additional tests.
The drawback of switching over to LED lights is the upfront cost (although each season you’ll notice a narrowing cost difference). Nonetheless, one estimate we ran across showed the estimated cost of buying and operating standard C-9 lights for 10 seasons is $122 for incandescent bulbs and $18 for LEDs. Plus, the LED lighting is more likely to last the full 10 seasons, meaning less trips to the store!
Other innovative decorating ideas — such as laser light projectors or lighting distributed across a broader space — can also cut energy expenses while still keeping your holidays bright.
More reasons to adopt LEDs for the holidays