Energy Guide: Christmas Lights Edition
During the holiday season, a great way to spread cheer is by hanging festive lighting on the outside of your home. These decorative strands of lights come in many styles, shapes, colors, and various blinking and color transitioning abilities. Although these lights are a nice visual, they add to energy expenses that are already increased during the winter months due to the use of heating. Size and intricacy of the lighting display are factors in the cost of lighting. However, even with large displays, there are ways to save money and energy when it comes to this holiday tradition.
Incandescent light bulbs power older holiday light strands. Newer technologies use the more efficient LED bulbs. A 100-count string of incandescent mini light bulbs uses 40 watts, which is 80-90% more than the wattage of LED bulbs. LED bulbs consume around 4.8 watts for a 70 count of 5mm wide angle LEDs. Other benefits of using LED bulbs are that they are more durable and they last up to 100,000 hours while incandescent bulbs only last for about 3,000 hours. Overall, an upgrade from incandescent to LED holiday lights can result in paying 90x less to power a lighting display.
Solar powered holiday lights are strands of bulbs that are connected to a small stake with a solar panel on top. They are another great option of newer technology that has many additional advantages to not wasting electricity and therefore, your money. Since the bulbs charge during the day and then turn on at dusk and off at dawn, there never has to be a worry about the lights going out. The set-up is simple and they can be put in places far from power outlets since they don’t have to be plugged in. The bulbs also run at a cooler temperature, decreasing the risk of overheating and fire. Solar powered lights last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and their durable plastic material ensures their long lifespan, leading to less landfill pollution. Also, little to no polluting gases, such as carbon dioxide, are released by the lights. Additionally, these lights may also qualify you for a tax rebates!
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