This news item expired on Monday, December 31, 2012 so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
We all look forward to the glow of holiday lights – on the tree, around the house, or lining each roof ridge and gable outside. With this added illumination, some households resign themselves to a higher holiday utility bill. That doesn’t have to be the case.
Advances in lighting technology are making holiday lights considerably more energy efficient. LED (light-emitting diode) lights are becoming increasingly popular and are readily available. Like compact fluorescents, LED lights are cool to the touch.
Development of LED lights has been ongoing since the 1960s, but LED lights have only recently begun to produce the amount of light output and power to make them competitive with incandescent lights and fluorescents.
Currently, white LED lights produce a cooler, bluish glow, as compared to the warmer glow of an incandescent with yellow undertones. Warmer-toned LED lights are available, but they offer less light per watt of energy consumed.
LED lights provide a variety of benefits: energy efficiency, savings on maintenance, durability, and impact resistance, to name a few. Many LED lights are advertised to last 50,000 to 100,000 hours.
LEDs cost around 45¢ for 30 days when used for 6 hours per day, traditional holiday lights cost $31.30 for 30 days when used for 6 hours per day. The initial investment in LED lights may be greater than traditional holiday lights; however, over time, a sizable savings will be seen on your power bill.
For more energy conservation tips for your home, contact Buncombe County Cooperative Extension at 255-5522.
US Department of Energy - Using LEDs