Should you chuck all your good old holiday light strings and buy new LED holiday lights? Here’s how to decide.
1. LED holiday lights save you money. LED lights use at least 90% less energy than traditional holiday lights, according to the U.S. government’s Energy Star program.
That results in a $50 energy savings for the average family during the holidays, says Avital Binshtock of the Sierra Club in San Francisco.
2. But LED lights typically cost more than old-fashioned holiday lights.
- GE 100-bulb string of Energy Star-certified LED white lights: $18.97 at Lowe’s
- GE 100-bulb string of conventional white lights: $8.97
3. LED holiday lights last and last. LED bulbs can keep your season bright for as long as 100,000 hours, says Cathy Choi, president of Moonachie, N.J.-based Bulbrite, which manufactures LED and regular bulbs. That’s substantially longer than the life of your old holiday light strings.
4. You can string a BIG strand of LED lights. Safety wise, you shouldn’t connect more than three traditional light strings, but you can connect up to 87 LED holiday light strings, totaling a whopping 1,500 feet, Choi says. So blow your neighbor’s display away by cocooning your house in lights:
- You won’t have to buy as many extension cords.
- You can take your holiday lighting display further away from the outlet.
6. How about that hue? Some people stick with their old lights because they don’t like the brighter hue that white LED holiday lights emit. But Choi says manufacturers now offer a “warm white” bulb that more closely mimics the glow of an incandescent light. Be sure to read the label to choose a bright or warm white and to ensure what you’re purchasing is Energy Star-certified.
Colored and color-changing LED holiday lights are more vibrant than conventional lights, making your display easier to see from the street, Choi says.