Energy Savings: Traditional vs. LED Christmas Lights
By Chris Cannon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Lights play a big part in the Christmas holiday for a lot of people. Homes across Middle Tennessee are lit up with different colors. More and more homeowners are starting to choose LED lights, over the traditional incandescent.
Lipscomb University made the switch several years ago.
"We have about 70,000 LED lights on campus," said Jeff Wilson, Director of Campus Plant at Lipscomb.
The transition to LED lights is costly, nearly double the price of traditional incandescent Christmas lights.
"It takes about two years for those to pay back. But the electrical draw on a strand of lights, it's really worth it," Wilson added.
Estimates say traditional lights use between 12 and 105 kilowatts of energy. In comparison, LED lights use between one and three kilowatts of electric. This is approximately a 90% savings in energy.
LED lights have become more consumer friendly, in price and look.
"They keep coming down in price, the technology keeps improving, and the fact you can get colors in them now," explained Frank Shope, owner of Hart Ace Hardware in Bellevue.
His store has a large display of LED Christmas lights, in a wide variety of colors that were not available in previous years.
"This is the classic white," Shope said. The newest color mimics the warm glow of its incandescent counterpart.
Shope says the initial investment for LED lights is about double that of the traditional Christmas light, but he said the last much longer.
"You buy one of these strings it should last you 40 years, if you don't tear them up, the bulbs will last 40 years," Shope explained.
Since LED lights do not produce heat, they reduce fire risk and are much safer on trees.
There are a lot of factors that will determine if LED lights are right for your Christmas display.
"If you're a serious tree and home decorator with lights, LED is the way to go because it'll save money long term," according to Shope.
LED Christmas lights are now also offered in the traditional shape of Christmas lights, making them more appealing to consumers.