Springfield, Oct. 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Clark Griswolds and Martha May Whoviers (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) of the world can rejoice a bit more this holiday season by switching to LED lights when decorating. While it’s tempting to use the non-LED Christmas lights you have on hand, doing so can make your electric bill higher.

That’s because LED lights consume 80 to 90 percent less power than incandescent lights, which could make your December and January energy bill look more like it belongs to your Grinch-like neighbor. LEDs last a lot longer too: 3,000 hours on average or about 10 times longer than the traditional type.

LED Christmas lights are also safer than incandescent strands. “Not only do they use far less energy making them much more cost effective to operate, they pose almost no fire danger around dry trees or wreaths,” says Molly Hall, executive director of Safe Electricity. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fires originating with Christmas trees cause 6 deaths, 16 injuries, and $14.8 million in direct property damage each year.

Safe Electricity offers these additional benefits of decking the halls with LED Christmas lights:

  • You can connect numerous strings (20-plus) together while traditional lights are more limited in the amount you can safely link per outlet. (The number varies depending on the type of lights and what else is drawing energy on the circuit you’re using.)
  • They don’t produce heat like their predecessors, making them more child and pet friendly.
  • LED lights come in a wide range of colors, are usually brighter than the incandescent variety, and often offer more modern features such as dimmers, light pattern settings, and petite battery-operated versions for smaller indoor displays.

Although LEDs can cost a bit more to purchase, they’ll save you money in the long run, especially if you go all out decorating your home for the holidays. The electrical costs for a modest display — a lit wreath or two, illuminated garland and around 10 strands of lights — would cost about $11 in electricity if you used incandescent bulbs five hours per night for 30 nights. Using LEDs for the same display would only cost approximately $1.65 to run for the same amount of time. Create a jaw-dropping display that causes traffic jams, and you could save hundreds on your energy bill.

With any type of lights, always refer to strand instructions make sure they are endorsed by a reputable testing laboratory.

So the choice is yours: Pay more to plug in outdated, one-bulb-goes-and-they-all-go strands, or dish out a little more up front for the modern LED variety to save on your energy bill and let your creative decorating juices fly. Saving green will be one more reason to be jolly.

For additional safety tips, visit SafeElectricity.org.

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Ann Augspurger
Energy Education Council - Safe Electricity
217-546-6815
aaugspur@illinois.edu