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Green Christmas: Low-Energy Lights

written by: Laura Jean Karr•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 2/8/2010

The best environmentally friendly option that we have when it comes to saving energy and still getting into the holiday spirit of lighting up our holidays is by converting to LED use. LEDs save the energy draw not just a local scale but on a national one as well.

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    One of the most popular decorations for the coming holiday season are the lights. Christmas lights trim houses, inside windows and both indoor and outdoor trees. Such a large scale use of lighting for decoration puts a major strain on local power grids and electrical bills rise all over the nation.

    The best way to save energy in lighting is to start by using only LEDs. Light-emitting diode (LED) decoration lights use base computer chip technology. LEDs on average are up to 90% more efficient in lighting than standard Christmas lights because they are built to create energy from a semiconducting material rather than a filament. The lifespan of one LED is around 50,000 hours which makes them a cost effective choice and when one bulb does burn out the rest of the lights in the decoration string do not shut down.

    LEDs come in a wide range selection of shapes and colors. There are the mainstream light ropes, which are encased light strings. Mini lights that come in either a wide angle shape or the commonconical shape. The strawberry shape, which has more of an old fashioned Christmas light look with a medium sized faceted conical bulb. The raspberry shape that is a faceted ball and the shapes of mini stars, snowflakes and beaded garlands which are becoming more popular for decorations. There is no limit on the color selection other than your imagination for use and what decorative color scheme you may be going with.

    An added safety bonus to using LEDs is that by releasing a lower heat level they are less likely to set dried out holiday decorations on fire. The light strings are also cooler to the touch which cuts down on contact burning.

    It has been estimated by the U.S. Department of Energy that if holiday decorations where switched to use only LEDs an average of two billion kilowatt hours of electrical use would be saved each year. LEDs are also aligned with the EnergyStar program through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    If you would like to see a full gallery selection of available LEDs visit the HolidayLEDs website.