The holidays are here! And this means there will be an abundance of holiday lights lighting up the night well into the new year.
Of course, with all the festive celebrating there are lighting risks, safety concerns—and many rewards. To be sure, it’s a time when homeowners and businesses use a lot more electricity. And there is a smart way to think and act when bulbs are burning bright to reduce costs, minimize safety risks and still get the light you need.
First off, for anyone still parading out the old incandescent holiday lights now is the ideal time to trade them in for LEDs. I can’t sing their praises enough for their lasting value, energy efficiency and long-term savings they can bring. This same holds true for holiday LEDs. So if you haven’t already done so trade in your incandescents and string up your new LEDs. For bay area residents contact Rising Sun Energy, a renewable energy nonprofit located in San Francisco. In years past, and presumably for 2014, Rising Sun will let you swap your old Christmas lights for energy-efficient LEDs—and there is no charge for the exchange.
The benefits of LED lighting include:
- 90% less energy consumed than incandescent bulbs
- A 25,000 hour life span, which is 25x longer than incandescents and 2.5 times longer than comparable CFLs
- Made of 95% recyclable material
- A gift that keeps on giving (light)—sometimes for 30 years or more
- They are affordable: a strand of holiday lights from the big box stores such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Walmart run between $20-$30 per strand
- Holiday LED lights come in a variety of interesting styles and colors
Make LEDs your gift to yourself this year. If you don’t already have them in your home, make the change. They will cost a bit more than other lights, but LEDs make up for it with energy efficiency and long-term savings.