It may be time to retire some of the large incandescent Christmas lights you have been bringing out every year. You can save a bundle on your power bill by switching to LED Christmas lights. Here's a comparison of the new LED lights compared to small and large incandescent bulbs.
|# of Lights||Type of Light||Energy Usage of Bulb||225 Hours*|
(5 hours per day for 45 days)
|Average Operating Cost*|
|300||New LED Lights||0.043 watts||2.9 kW/h||$ .47|
|300||Mini Incandescent||0.45 watts||30.38 kW/h||$ 4.92|
|300||Large Incandescent||7.00 watts||472.5 kW/h||$ 76.55|
|* Calculated using the average residential rate effective
September 1, 2006.
Source: Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Boy!! Do we need any savings we can get! I have to check for these at the store.
Be careful to check the package to see where they are made and what they contain.
We purchased LED Christmas lights from Walmart which were made in China and contain lead and have warnings about handling and washing hands afterward and such.
My goodness, I didn't realize exactly the cost of lights. LED seem the way to go.
I cannot agree with changing Christmas lights to LEDs. To date, I still have never seen an LED light string that can hold a candle, literally, to the incandescent sets. The LED colors are flat-out weird, they are nowhere near as bright, and they have a dull, dark look to them. The whites are a cold, light blue, and the blues are a weird violet-blue. They look like they were put up by aliens from outer space, in my opinion. A couple of my neighbors have these, and I am not impressed by their displays. They actually make me sad.
I jumped on the bandwagon the first year Home Depot offered LEDs, and bought two sets with bulbs the size of the regular C9 bulbs. After I put them up and turned them on, I was devastated, outraged and embarrassed. Those "lights" were dim, dark, unfestive and an expensive waste of money. They barely illuminated themselves, and did not reflect off the rain gutters, or reflect when it rained or snowed. I was embarrassed by the way they looked.
Since my old C9 light strings were worn or broken, the next year I put up some strings of colored mini-lights I had, which was much better, but the following year, I went online and bought new C9 light strings and bulbs from a big lighting distributor, and put those up. At last, I had bright, festive lights, in normal colors, again! Since these lights are on for only about 7 hours per day for 2-3 weeks, I don't begrudge the amount of electricity they use. It's worth it to have a display that is bright, festive and attractive.
For several years, Home Depot used to offer a discount on LED lights to customers for each set of old lights they brought in. I called once to ask that if I gave them back the ugly LEDs they sold me, could I have all the old sets other people turned in. Unfortunately, they said they throw the old sets out. What a waste!
Honestly, the LED displays are ugly and dull, and I don't look at them twice. The town of Amityville, NY decorates the trees along the main street with lights every year; they tried LEDs one year and had so many complaints that they went back to the regular lights the following year, and stayed with them ever since.
It's Christmas, for crying out loud! If you're going to cheap out by turning your Christmas display into a dull, ugly bore, then don't bother! There are times when being cheap doesn't fit the situation. One incandescent light string is 10 times more festive than a whole yard full of LED strings, so save money by using incandescent strings, but fewer of them. They're also cheaper to buy.
For those who still use the 3 dimensional blow-mold plastic lawn decorations, as I do, I have saved money by using compact fluorescent bulbs in the ones that use a regular edison-based bulb (not the candelabra or night-light size). I replaced 40-watt incandescent bulbs with 40 or 60 watt=equivalent CFLs and they work perfectly. In some cases, I had to trim the plastic collar around the bulb socket so these would fit. It's worth doing, as they use less electricity while still lighting the figures brightly.
LEDs seem to work very well in flashlights, work lights and other practical applications, but they are a crashing failure as Christmas lights. I don't know why the manufacturers can't seem to get the brightness and the colors right. I do know that the incandescent lights are festive, Christmas-y, bright, true colors, and make me happy. I'm staying with them!
I got some new LED Christmas lights from Costco this year. They are multi-colored but can also be white and can transition between the two. They are my favorite LED lights to date. I've been slowly converting all my lights over to LED the last few years, and I haven't had any trouble with any of them yet. I love the old fashioned glow of the incandescent lights but they use so much more power, and can get hot over time.
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