Running festive holiday lights doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Light emitting diode (LED) technology can be used in place of incandescent holiday light bulbs to keep electricity costs low during the holiday season.
A string of 125 large C7 incandescent bulbs using 4 watts per bulb would use 500 watts when turned on. A string of 300 miniature incandescent bulbs using 0.4 watts each would use 120 watts when turned on. In contrast, a string of 300 LED bulbs using 0.04 watts each would use only 12 watts when turned on.
If each of these strings ran for 12 hours per day over a 40 day period, the C7 incandescent string would cost a typical homeowner $24, the miniature incandescent string would cost $5.76, and the LED string would cost 57 cents! Homeowners running multiple strings can experience even greater savings. The increased up-front cost of the LED lights can typically be offset in two to three holiday seasons when compared to mini-incandescents.
Other advantages of using LED holiday lights include:
- their long life span (typically 20,000 hours or 40 holiday seasons);
- their cool temperature (reducing the risk of fire); and
- reduced risk of overloading the wall socket when connecting multiple strings.
The US Department of Energy estimates that if every household used LED holiday lights in place of incandescents, the country would save over $410 million in electricity costs.