Written on December 22, 2009 at 4:31 pm , by Eric Liskey
This seems to be the year that a major shift is happening in Christmas decor. It’s the year that LED Christmas lights came of age. You see them everywhere this year — their appearance is strikingly different than incandescent lights so they’re hard to miss. Take a look down some well-lit street in your neighborhood this week and you’ll see. The jewel-like colors of LED lights are nothing at all like the old types. They’re “cooler”, more richly colored. They really jump out.
One thing I REALLY like about LED lights: They use so little power, you can string many together. (Remember how incandescent lights can only have up to 3 strands in series?) That means a lot fewer extension cords laying all over the place. It’s safer, and much less hassle to put them up. In addition, they last much longer than incandescent bulbs.
Back to the lower power consumption: That’s a good thing, of course, but have no illusions this is a money saving strategy. They will never pay for themselves. Not at this year’s prices anyway. I expect the cost to come down soon. But this year, it was a little shocking to pay $7-$8 per strand, when I’ve been used to picking up a string of lights for next to nothing.
I saw on some website that a string of icicle lights consumes around 40 watts of power. That compares to about 2.5 watts for a string of LED lights. Big difference. I figured out that replacing my five strings of icicle lights on my house with LED lights will save me — drumroll please — $3.89. That’s per month. And it cost me $50 to buy the new ones. Well, at least I’m trendy!