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Save Energy and Money with LED Holiday Lights

December 08, 2010

Save Energy and Money with LED Holiday Lights

For immediate release: Wednesday December 8, 2010

Save Energy and Money with LED Holiday Lights

(ST. PAUL, MN) The prospect of a higher-than-usual electricity bill can cause even the jolliest of decorators to turn into Scrooge and pull the plug on their holiday lighting display.  This year, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security (OES) is reminding homeowners and businesses that they can reduce their electric bill without sacrificing on holiday spirit by using ultra-efficient light emitting diode (LED) holiday lights.

Decorating for the holidays can be expensive.  According to OES, lighting a string of 500 standard incandescent bulbs for five hours a day for 30 days (at 11 cents per kWh) would cost a homeowner $33.  Swap out the standard bulbs and go with mini-lights and the cost drops to $3.30.  Using 500 LED lights, meanwhile, would cost only 33 cents to run for the same period of time.

LEDs come in strings of up to 240 bulbs and up to 100 strings can be attached together. Varieties include a small globe, a flame-tip, a multi-faceted bulb, a rope, an icicle or a mini-light. They are also available in many colors, including red, blue, green, orange, white, and now gold LEDs. Some of the newer strings have controllers that permit special effects such as color changes.

In addition to saving money on electricity bills, here are the key reasons to use LED lighting technology versus the standard incandescent lighting:

  • Long life. Lifespan is up to 100,000 hours (indoor) and up to 50,000 hours (outdoor) and most manufacturers guarantee them for 20 years.

  • Efficiency. LEDs use about 100 times less energy than the standard (C-7) incandescent bulbs and 10 times less than mini-lights. To save even more, use a programmable timer to limit the lighting of the display to selected hours and days.

  • Durability. The epoxy lenses are nearly indestructible. It's almost impossible to break LED lights.

  • Safety. The bulbs are cool to the touch since a very small amount of heat radiates from them. 

Old, burned-out or broken holiday lights should be recycled. A list of participating drop-off locations may be found at: http://tinyurl.com/LEDrecycle

For more information on lighting and other efficiency topics, visit the OES website www.energy.mn.gov and the Energy Star website at www.energystar.gov