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November 29, 2007


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I looked at these and came to the same conclusion. The other factor is what happens when one breaks? How are you going to find an LED replacement and how much will it cost? The old fashioned lights have replacements everywhere for pennies and I bet the same cannot be said for the LEDs

However, if you find a good deal AFTER Christmas where the Christmas decorations are 50 - 90% off, then I can see it as a good deal. You can start saving energy next year.

The one good thing about buying them now, though, is the amount of energy you save which, in turn, is better for the environment.

No offense but 60-bulb LED strings were just $10 at Target and are normally $12 for the Philips brand. The no-name is cheaper. At this point buying LEDs is better for the environment vs. your pocket book but I've been slowly replacing my Christmas lights with LEDs.

As to spare bulbs every pack I have has 1 or 2 spares included and you can find that at the store so I'm not sure how "spare bulbs" is a reason to avoid LED lights. Also, the chance of one burning out, or breaking, is a hell of a lot less than a regular bulb.

They're still more expensive but sometimes there are reasons other than the almighty dollar to buy something. Cutting your electricity usage is a good enough payoff in my book.

Jason --

No offense taken -- I was just using the numbers in the article.

As far as helping the environment goes, I think everyone is trying to find the cost/helpfulness balance. Some might use CFLs, some might give up SUVs, some might start recycling, and so on. It's up to us all to see where using LEDs falls in our personal quest to help the environment.

Good analysis. I did find some on clearance last year, didn't think I would, so it becomes much more reasonable at half price. Though, I still would not replace all of the lights I already have at once.

Here in WI they have a special program that runs for about a month every year where you get instant rebates on CFL lights (they end up being 99 cents) and LED light bulbs (35 strand is $3.99) and (70 count strand is $9.99) so it gets slightly more economically feasible, but even then I agree that pure dollars and cents it will not add up unless the LED christmas lights are much more durable and will last many more seasons than their counterparts. The CFLs though are a no-brainer.

I don't know about any of you, but I seem to replace my "standard" Christmas lights every couple years anyway, because they are so cheap. I wonder how much longer the LEDs would last? I am definitely going to look at these for the after Christmas sales.

if you live in LI, trust me, consider yourselves lucky that the christmas lights, or any other lights for that matter, even stay on as much as they do. The lack of new electrical transmission line tech, or transmission lines in general going into LI, and the abundance of nimbys/lawyers is gonna have LI singing the brownout blues...

anyways, led are a good idea and couple this with a timer at the outlet, yes they are an added expense, but I imagine it will pay for itself in the first season alone. again the lack of transmission lines are the leading contributor to the rise in electric rates in LI and the rest of the States.

also, if you use cfls or incandescent, think about putting a timer on the switch like in a closet or something so that it turns off automatically after a set period of time. a timer will do more to lower your bill than any other item no matter what the walmart/ge alliance tells you.

I just bought LED bulbs (regular kind) at BJ's and they really weren't much more expensive than regular bulbs would be bought at a retail store. I'm willing to bet that BJ's and other wholesalers also have holiday lights that are cheaper.

I don't have a tree but do you think the fact that LED's burn cooler is a significant safety plus when considering which to buy?

Another regional disagreement with the article's numbers - I just blogged about LEDs last week. Ours were $11 for 100 lights at Costco. Haven't decorated the tree yet, but I think four strings will do it. And with the lights' growing popularity, I anticipate that replacements won't be too hard to find. (The lights do stay lit if one bulb burns out, so you might just have a blank spot for a year or two while retail catches up.)

The deals get even better for some people, like those in Boulder, Colo., who could do an LED swap for $5 a string.

My old Christmas lights are still working after at least five years, so we'll use some for the window while we gradually upgrade to LEDs, and the rest we'll pass on to someone in need of lights.

I have a hard time believing that if you already have lights, going out and buying another set that is more efficient is better for the environment. Those lights were manufactured with raw materials and shipped accross the country so I am hesitent thinking that I am doing a service to mother nature by buying more.

Buy the LEDs.

LEDs are hard to break and have a very long life span (10,000 - 100,000 hours) before burning out. The regular incandescent last approx 800-2000 hours. So at 12hours/day for 30 days, you'll have to replace bulbs on the old style every 3-5.5 years, versus 27-200+ years for LEDs.

I think the people considering the longer life of LEDs are failing to consider other factors besides bulb age that can lead to a strand of lights breaking.

We have found the LED strings to be much cheaper than those quoted in the article, and the electricity use is an order of magnitude less than incandescents. Every year we always would have maintenance to do on the incandescent strings, very frustrating (especially if a part of a string went out after it was already on the tree). All our incandescent strings have been given away now.

We still have a few strings of incandescent icicle lights for the porch because the LED version gives a cold blue light that I don't much like. Warm white versions of LED lights are available but I don't know if they've made it into icicle lights yet.

I have a pre-lit Christmas tree. Is anyone aware of LED replacement bulbs that can simply be swapped out with the old incandescent bulbs?

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