Energy-Efficient Holiday Lighting a Bright Idea
Friday, Nov. 30, 2012
USU Extension family and consumer sciences agent
USU Extension writer
ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOLIDAY LIGHTING A BRIGHT IDEA
LOGAN, UT – With so many decorative lighting products available, it is important to be aware of those that will save on energy costs. Many consumers are still using conventional incandescent lights or mini-lights for their holiday decorating, but using light emitting diode or LED lights can save a substantial amount of money.
“LED lighting uses only 15 percent of the energy required for incandescent lighting,” according to Lou Mueller, Utah State University Extension family and consumer sciences agent. “So savings add up in a hurry when using LED lights for holiday decorating indoors and out. And because LED lighting uses less energy, multiple strings can be plugged into one electrical outlet. Non-combustible LED lighting is cool to the touch, adding to consumer safety.”
Mueller said manufacturers have improved product lines since LED lights were introduced in 2002, and many colors and varieties are available.
“Some consumers resisted LED lights because they were too harsh and bright, and white lights had a blue tint,” she said. “Now there are true soft white options available as well as many shapes and string lengths, including lights that twinkle and change colors.”
Mueller said that although the initial purchase price of LED lighting is higher than standard incandescent lighting, LED lights last longer, which means consumers save money over time. LED lighting offers up to 100,000 hours for indoor use and 50,000 hours for outdoor use, so lights do not need to be replaced for years.
“The cost of operating energy-efficient lights over time returns savings season after season,” she said. “LED lighting is definitely worth the investment.”