The Advantages of LED Holiday Lights

Posted by Laura Bretz on 11/23/15 9:00 AM

With the holiday’s right around the corner, looking at simple ways to save some money can be a high priority! There is no question that LED lights use less energy than their incandescent counterparts. Although incandescent lights may be cheaper to initially purchase, they end up costing you more in the long run.

The problem with incandescent strings of lights is that they burn hot, broke easily, and one broken or burnt-out bulb often causes the whole string to not light. Since they are painted glass, the color often doesn’t last and you can end up dull, dingy lights on your tree. Many people are opting to make the switch to LED lights and there are many reasons why.


They’re safer.
It was mentioned earlier that standard lights burn hot. Hot lights by a dried out Christmas tree could possibly lead to a fire.

Alternatively, LED lights are encased in an epoxy plastic that stays cool to the touch and don’t run the risk of starting a fire. That same epoxy is much stronger than the glass used for standard lights. It is also resistant to breakage.


They’re versatile.
LED Holiday lights come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. They don’t even need to be the same shape as a standard string of lights. They can come in the shape of snowflakes, snow men, ribbons, or nets. Of course, you can get them in the same shapes and sizes as their traditional counterparts. Other than the wide variety of shapes and styles, LED Holiday lights work just as well outdoors as they do indoors. The way they are constructed makes them impervious to moisture, heat, and cold.


They’re long-lasting.
Since LED lights do not burn hot, they last an extremely long time. The same string of lights could still be used twenty or more holidays from now. Unlike incandescent lights, LEDs don’t have delicate filaments which can heat up and burn out. If one of the LED lights did burn out, the rest of the string will still continue to work.

They’re energy efficient.

LEDs consume almost 90% less electricity than standard bulbs. When less electricity is used, that means that you will see reduced energy costs. A lower bill around the holidays is always a great thing! The chart below, from energy.gov, shows you the difference in using LED lights versus standard lights.

Estimated cost of electricity to light a six-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days

Incandescent C-9 lights

$10.00

LED C-9 lights

$0.27

Incandescent Mini-lights

$2.74

LED Mini-lights

$0.82

Estimated cost* of buying and operating lights for 10 holiday seasons

Incandescent C-9 lights

$122.19

LED C-9 lights

$17.99

Incandescent Mini-lights

$55.62

LED Mini-lights

$33.29

*Assumes 50 C-9 bulbs and 200 mini-lights per tree, with electricity at $0.119 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) (AEO 2012 Residential Average). Prices of lights based on quoted prices for low volume purchases from major home improvement retailers. All costs have been discounted at an annual rate of 5.6%. Life span assumed to be three seasons (1,500 hours) for non-LED lights.


LED lights are sturdier, safer, and use less energy. Because LEDs last so long, you won’t have to buy new bulbs or a whole new string of lights every year. Between saving money on your electricity bill and saving money by not needing to buy new lights, the choice is clear. If you’re considering buying new lights for the season, choose LED lights.

Learn more about electricity!

Topics: Energy, Electricity, Electric bill