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Save Some Green With LEDs This Holiday Season

The Clark Griswolds and Christmas-light-gun wielding Martha May Whoviers (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) of the world can rejoice a bit more this holiday season by switching to LED lights when decorating. While it’s tempting to use the non-LED lights you have on hand, doing so can make your electric bill higher.

That’s because LED lights consume 80 to 90 percent less power than incandescent lights, which could make your December and January energy bill look more like it belongs to your Grinch-like neighbor. LEDs last a lot longer too: 3,000 hours on average or about 10 times longer than the traditional type.

Safe Electricity offers these additional benefits of decking the halls with LED Christmas lights:

  • You can connect numerous strings (20-plus) together while traditional lights are more limited in the amount you can link per outlet. (The number varies depending on the type of lights and what else is drawing energy on the circuit you’re using.)
  • They don’t produce heat like their predecessors, making them more child and pet friendly.
  • They pose almost no fire danger around dry trees or wreaths. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fires originating with Christmas trees cause 6 deaths, 16 injuries, and $14.8 million in direct property damage each year.
  • LED lights come in a wide range of colors, are usually brighter than the incandescent variety, and often offer more modern features such as dimmers, light pattern settings, and petite battery-operated versions for smaller indoor displays.

Although LEDs can cost a bit more to purchase, they’ll save you money in the long run, especially if you go all out decorating your home for the holidays. The estimated electrical costs for a modest display (about 15 strands of lights) would cost about $11 in electricity if you used incandescent bulbs for five hours per night for 30 nights. (And that’s just a start for the Clark Griswolds out there.) All things being equal, using LEDs would only cost approximately $1.65.

With any type of lights, always refer to strand instructions and make sure your Christmas lights are endorsed by a reputable testing laboratory.

Those with modest displays who switch to LED lights can buy more stocking stuffers or egg nog this holiday season. Decorators extraordinaire who create a jaw-dropping display worthy of traffic jams could save hundreds on their energy bill. Either way, saving green is just one more reason to be jolly.

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