One of my largest clients as an Energy Consultant was MACY*S Department Stores. Around 1990, I introduced LED conversion kits for EXIT Sign Boxes to Macy*s Operation Managers and the conversion began almost instantly. Those same reasons for Macy*s to switch to LEDs stand true for decorative Christmas lights today.
Number One reason is savings and a fast payback. Today the cost for LED Christmas lights has come down and the price is even a better deal when placed on sale at the end of the season.
A house decorated outside and with a tree inside will use a minimum of 400 bulbs. That will be about 160 watts with the incandescent mini lights. If you have a timer running the lights from Dusk to Dawn between Thanksgiving and January 7th, your electric bill with a 19 cent Kilowatt rate will be around: $15.32.
If you use LEDs consuming about 4.8 watts per 70 bulbs (total LED bulbs used 420) you will consume a total of 28.8 watts for a total electric cost of only $2.77! A savings off the electric bill of around $12.55. So no matter how many bulbs you are using, the savings is around 82% when comparing LEDs to Incandescent bulbs. Also buying the LEDs on sale can offer you a payback on your investment in one holiday season.
Another reason to get LEDs is for all those times where the last row of lights are up, you come down the ladder and plug in the lights to only see half or none of them light up. Then that conversation starts:
"Did you test the bulbs?"
"Nooo, I thought you tested the bulbs!"
"Are these the lights where if one goes out they all go out?"
"I don't know, didn't you buy them?"
"That was three years ago! I don't remember."
"Just buy those new LED lights, they last decades, not years."
So put the "JOLLY" back into the holidays and keep most of your money in your pocket by using LED decorative lights. Your electric power company will still send you a bill, but in this case, less is much better than more. Merry Christmas.
Bill Lauto , GTG
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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