Be energy-wise for the holidays

  • Published
  • By Colton Walter
  • CSC Civil Engineering
The holidays are a time for lights and decorations--Christmas trees, snowmen and good cheer, but it also can be a time of soaring energy use and high utility costs. 

Most American households love to decorate for the holidays with yards and yards of stringed, incandescent lights--very energy-inefficient incandescent lights. Not only are these tangle-prone strings of holiday lights high energy consumers, the bulb life is often short and the user must either buy individual replacement bulbs and change them out, or as is usually the case, throw away the strand and buy new.

Consider replacing those lights this year with low energy consuming Light Emitting Diode (LED) holiday lights. Energy efficiency is only one of the advantages, however, in changing to LED lighting, others include:

· Energy efficiency---LED bulbs use .04 watts of electricity per light while incandescent "mini" bulbs use 10 times as much and the larger bulbs use 100 times more energy per light

· Bulb life--LED bulbs average at least 100,000 burn-hours for indoor use (equivalent of about 20 years of Christmas seasons) and about 50,000 burn-hours for outdoors

· Safety--LED bulbs generate very little heat so no danger of combustion

· Ease of installation--due to the low wattage requirements, up to 25 strings of 100 bulbs can be strung together without circuit overloads

Regardless of the type of bulb, however, you can still be energy efficient by limiting lighting displays to no more than 4 hours in the evening--leaving lights on for 24 hours will more than quadruple the energy cost. Have a wonderful, and energy efficient, holiday season.