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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Green Spot: What’s Lighting Up Your Tree?

Posted by Tim Stobbs on November 27, 2009

I think most people are realizing that those season LED (SLED) lights are a lot better than the old school Christmas lights for either your house or your tree.  I personally like the SLED’s since I’ve managed to step on a bulb and not break it.  Proving to me they were going to last a very long time if they can handle that kind of abuse (not to mention they are rated to last 10 times as long).  They also use 90% less power, so in terms of saving money these bulbs should be an obvious replacement for the old ones.

Yet when people say 90% less power that still doesn’t help most of us convert it to cash.  Well my power company was nice enough to send a flier in my last bill that broke out exactly how much savings there is for a 100 foot string of lights on for five hours a day for a 31 day month.  Assuming a cost at 10.22 cents/kWh for your power the cost to run different lights for a month are as follows:

  • SLED $0.22/month
  • Mini-regular lights $3.17/month
  • Small standard bulbs (outdoor) $7.92/month
  • Standard Outdoor bulbs $11.08/month

So if you have just replacing a 100 feet of outdoor lights and another 100 feet of indoor mini lights you could potentially save $13.81 on your first power bill.  WOW, talk about short payback periods.  The savings get even better if you leave them on longer than five hours a day or you take advantage of one of those seasonal exchanges that most power companies run where they will give you a rebate on a SLED set if you turn in your old set of lights.

So consider investing in SLED’s this year for your tree and house.  You can keep the seaon bright and your power bill lower to free up money for those important things like eggnog, treats and all the other holiday cheer.

Comments

6 Responses to “Green Spot: What’s Lighting Up Your Tree?”
  1. Traciatim says:

    Considering you are heating your house in Canada at Christmas time, and that the wasted energy of the mini lights is wasted as heat anyway, are you really using less energy overall?

    This argument is kind of like saying “You shouldn’t use your wall baseboard heater, it’s rated at 2000 watts . . . use this plug in 1000 watt one instead and use half the power!”

    The LED sets I have also don’t have replaceable lights, so if a couple end up going out (less likely, but it can happen) you have to replace the whole set of wires plugs and working lights while the traditional lights you just get a new bulb. How is increasing waste helping and is it factored in to the equation above?

  2. John says:

    Traciatim> Christmas lights are a pretty inefficient way to heat your home. ;-) I’d much rather used the LEDs and let my furnace to what it is supposed to do.

    My one problem with LEDs is that the outdoor ones seem to have a really short lifespan. Every year I seem to end up with 2 or 3 strands that have simply stopped working. So far the claims of longevity have not proven true in our house.

  3. Caitlin says:

    I don’t decorate the outside of my house I have a little not-quite-Christmas tree, and I use a string of LEDs and they look great. I’ve had ‘em for a couple years and they are still going strong.

    The only thing I don’t like about outdoor LED strings is the horrible blue colour of the old-school LEDs. Current blue lights are a nice blue, but the older ones are a purple-y blue that blurs and hurts my eyes when I look at them in the dark (ie any time after 5 pm lately, blurgh) for some reason.

  4. Mama Zen says:

    A better idea: DO NOT DECORATE WITH LIGHTS :D

    Okay, not really cool for the kids I admit… but if you have kids, maybe you can turn your lights on only when they are awake AND its dark outside (gray sky is NOT dark as when «winter sun» goes down he he…) and turn them off when they go to bed.

    As an adult, maybe you can enjoy your lights decorations on Chrismas night ;-)

    ….

    if there’s still adults on Chrismas time? ;-)

    overall, I think it’s a good idea, although I prefer using as less chrismas light as possible ;-)

  5. Middle Way says:

    Our Christmas decorations consist of a large prelit tree and 2 decorative prelit trees in urns. They were bought before you were able to get leds.

    So the delemma this year is, do we use them?

    We’ve decided to use the small trees, maybe only one as buying all new trees doesn’t make sense either.

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