The LED (light-emitting diode) is taking the place of traditional holiday lights. The traditional incandescent bulbs are going the way of the CD and will soon be something of the past. LED lights last longer, are more stylish and best of all, use less energy so will save you valuable dollars on your electric bill.
To put the energy savings into perspective, each LED burns at less than a watt. In comparison, a traditional holiday C9 bulb burns at about 8 or 9 watts, the C7 is 6 to 8 watts and the mini is up to 1 watt. A string of incandescent C9 bulbs running 300 hours will cost about $11, while the same size LED string will cost 15 cents. A significant savings!
LEDs have quickly evolved and now come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The technology allows for more design flexibility, providing for a wider selection of bulb sizes, shapes and features than incandescent bulbs. LED holiday lights are available in the traditional C9, C7 and mini bulb sizes. Holiday strings are also available in a number of shapes, sizes and lengths, including LED configurations that look like snowflakes, icicles and candy canes.
Some of the lighting tubes include cascading diodes, which simulate falling snow or melting icicles. In addition, there are color-changing bulbs, which can alternate between a variety of colors. While you may need to purchase new lighting strings designed for LEDs for the moment, over the next several years you’ll be able to supplement the bulbs in your existing holiday light strings with LEDs.
LEDs don’t produce nearly as much heat as traditional incandescent bulbs. This is because most of the energy LEDs use converts into light not heat. In contrast, incandescent bulbs convert only 10 percent of the energy they use into light and the remainder into heat. Because LEDs don’t generate as much heat as incandescent bulbs, there is less risk of them causing a fire when they come into direct contact with flammable items.
It’s important to look for the Energy Star label when shopping for LED lights. This guarantees that the lights are independently tested to meet electrical requirements. When placing your LED lights outdoors, use an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) rated extension cord.
To learn more about LEDs or how EIA can help reduce your business’s energy costs, click here.