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Traditional incandescent Christmas lights provide a merry, warm glow that we all associate with the holidays, but are you as shocked as I am to learn just how much energy they require to run?
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According to a Department of Energy study, the U.S. as a whole uses an estimated 6.63 billion kilowatt-hours (kW h) of electricity during the holiday season to power decorative lights. The Energy Department says that if every household would switch over to LED string lights, we could save 5.97 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, which is the equivalent of the annual electricity output of half a million homes.
The financial and energy savings that could be gained from such a simple switch are staggering, and if you haven’t thought about replacing your traditional incandescent Christmas lights for some new, more energy-efficient LED Christmas lights, this is the year to do it.
Here’s how much energy and money that LED Christmas lights can actually save you
LED Christmas tree lights offer an average of 88% energy savings compared to traditional incandescent lights, which also sharply reduces your holiday electricity bill if you’re running multiple strands of lights for several hours a day. If you want some hard numbers, we’ve got them.
A recent analysis conducted by the Washington Post compares the energy consumption of incandescent mini-lights to LED mini-lights and found that a single strand of incandescents costs an average of $3.53 per month to run. This means, a person who uses 10 strands throughout their home will be spending an additional $35.30 per month on holiday lighting alone. Compare this to the energy used by a single strand of LED lights, which costs $.41 per strand per month of use ($4.10 for 10 strands, making that a savings of $34.89, which is an 88% cost difference).
There are additional perks of LED Christmas lights
In addition to consuming less energy than traditional bulbs, LED strand lights are generally safer to use in your home due to the reduced heat they emit, not to mention they have a longer life than traditional incandescents. LEDs can last upwards of 50,000 hours, as opposed to the 3,000-hour life of traditional incandescent bulbs.
Consider, too, the impact that discarded lights can have on household waste.
In 2018, 95 million households in America celebrated with a Christmas tree, which means thousands, if not millions of old, burnt-out or broken light strands were replaced. That’s a lot of lights in the landfill.
LEDs are constructed of epoxy lenses, which are much more durable than traditional glass bulbs and won’t lead to the classic “one goes out, and the whole strand goes out” conundrum.
There’s also the added benefit of reduced light pollution when using LEDs to illuminate the exterior of your home. (Light pollution can certainly disrupt the natural circadian rhythms in humans, but it can also disrupt animal habitats and have deadly consequences for many insects and animals.)
Where can I buy LED Christmas lights?
Now that you know the benefits to using LED Christmas lights, it’s time to buy a new strand or 12. There are dozens of styles, colors, and lengths of lights to choose, from traditional-looking to fairy and icicle lights. Have a brilliant time powering up this holiday season!
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Upgrade to LED Christmas lights to save money and energy