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Dec 14, 2010 10:06 PM by Steve Adamson

LED Christmas lights - Increasingly popular for several reasons

For years, the traditional Christmas lights that people decorated theirs homes with changed only little in general design. Glowing C-7 or C-9 style incandescent bulbs were the standard for years. Then miniature lights became a popular alternative in various styles.

Over the past few years, another type of Christmas light is gaining increasing popularity. Known as LED lighting, ( LED stands for Light Emitting Diode ) they offer substantial energy savings compared the standard type. "They actually save you up to 90% of the energy use that you would need to put up your traditional bigger incandescent holiday bulbs, " said Kory Raftery from PGE.

LED lights are more expensive than regular Christmas lights, but their price has come down steadily the past few years. "We still have a few people buying the others, but LED this year has liked tripled...So they're really picking up on that," said Bev Rhodes from Miners Hardware in Grover Beach.

Besides energy savings, there's more things to like about LED Christmas lights. The stay cool because of the substantially less energy used to light them. Also, they're brighter too, despite using less energy to light them. The bulbs tend to last up to 100,000 hours.

Another advantage of their low energy use pertains to how many sets you can string together. Bev Rhodes pointed out that "the new LED's can string up to 85 strings together, so I mean you can pretty much do your whole house on one plug instead of running five outlets and five timers all through the area. You can hook them all together and you're set to go."

One person we talked to switched from traditional lights to LED's a few years ago and his Christmas time energy bill dropped from $800 down to about $200. Granted, he has his entire house covered with lights.

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