Christmas Lighting With LEDs
I started an experiment this weekend. A local hardware store had LED lights on sale at 50% off a few weeks ago. I decided to change over my old, glass bulb Christmas lights to LED lighting. LED is an acronym for light emitting diode. A LED is a small electronic component that radiates light. LED light sets look very similar to traditional glass light sets and have many advantages. Here are a few benefits of using LED Christmas lighting:
Bulbs covering LEDs are virtually unbreakable
Safe and cool to the touch
Ultra long life (over 10 years)
All-weather / water resistant
Bright color (see below about white lights)
Use up to 90% LESS energy than traditional incandescent bulbs
Connect many more strings together than traditional light sets
I put up my LED Christmas lights this weekend and I am very impressed. I only used one extension cord for over 300 feet of lights and there is no danger of blowing a fuse. In the past I would need 3 extension cords to light my house in the same style. The LED lights look just like traditional lights but were much easier to put on the house because I wasn’t afraid of breaking them. No one can tell the bulbs are plastic. They look very nice! I plan to use extension cord reels to wrap the light strings and then store them in a moving box when I take them down. I think that will avoid tangles and make it much easier to un-wrap the lights for next year.
I can think of only a few drawbacks to using LED lighting. First is the initial expense, as LED lights are more expensive than traditional light sets. I think the energy savings and the ruggedness of the LED light sets more than make up for the cost, especially if they can be purchased on sale. Second, LEDs are not individually replaceable. I recommend plugging in the lights, before hanging, to ensure all of the LEDs light. That way the set can be returned, if there is a problem, before hanging the lights. Granted, LEDs seldom burn out but if one does, it cannot be replaced like a bulb. The way to overcome the inconvenience of a burned out LED is to slide the next LED over next to it. At night, no one will notice. Third, I noticed with my lights that there are 2 different colors of “white”. Read the label carefully because “LED white” lights look bluish when turned on where “warm white” lights look white. If you really prefer white lights get the warm white set.
If you are interested in using LED lights this Christmas, I recommend looking for sales or trade-in promotions to maximize your dollar. I think you will be very happy with this new style of lighting.