LED (light emitting diode) Christmas lights are the newest thing when it comes to Christmas lights due to their energy saving features and long bulb life. They are brighter than incandescent bulbs, use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and they come in all shapes and sizes, just like incandescent bulbs.
According to the EnergyStar.gov website: If all decorative light strings sold in America this year were ENERGY STAR qualified, we would save over 2 billion kWh per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to nearly 300,000 cars!
So what's the down side?
Well, for starters, they are more expensive than the incandescent bulbs we've been buying. (Anywhere from $10 on up.) However, I've found several stores selling them for 50% off right now, and with this economy the way it is, I expect the deals to be even greater. (The deal I found was for $5. for 60 wide angle bulbs, normally $10.)
I've always been a white light person, though, and the white wide angle LEDs that I purchased were a very cool blue light. They would be great for an outdoor display, but they didn't have the ambience I'm used to with the regular white miniature lights. I actually felt like an alien tree had landed in my living room.
I ended up using the lights that I have used for the last 6 years, but I did purchase colored bulbs for next year. (I'm trying to do my part.)
So, my advice is, if your lights work fine, use them... only use them sparingly. If you were planning on buying them anyway, now's a good time. I don't think there will be many left for a better discount after Christmas. And if you want to hold out for a warm LED light set, put in your suggestions now. Maybe Santa's listening :-)
Frances Sanderson, Franklin, NH REALTOR®, Certified EcoBroker®
By the way, replacement bulbs can be found at www.imaginarycolours.com