Thursday, December 11, 2008

LED Holiday Lights

I like Holiday lights but lately I can't help feeling that they are a little bit wasteful - especially the really extreme displays. I don't have time to find the article or post but I recently read about LED holiday lights on Yahoo!

Generally I think it is better to keep what we have working rather than buying something new but here is a case where it's even though it is financially a break even proposition (over 5 or 10 years) it probably makes ecological sense to upgrade from incandescent holiday lights to LEDs.

Here are the benefits:
  • LEDs use only 10% of the energy of incandescent lights
  • They last 25 times longer (50,000 hours vs. 2,000)
  • They are not hot so there isn't as great a risk of fire (on a dry Christmas tree for example)
  • They don't break as easily
  • One light going out won't take the whole string down

At least one online vendor will recycle your old strings of lights.
They estimate an $8.00 savings for lighting 5 strings of lights for one season. The cheaper, plain LED 25 foot string of lights costs about $17, that's $85 for 5. If energy prices remain constant (which of course they won't) by your 11th year you'd save 3 dollars and about half a ton of CO2. I would guess with energy inflation you'd probably break even in about 6 or 7 years.

What do you think? Does it make sense to upgrade?

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