By Maria Bargellini of DFW Christmas Lights
The hottest trend in Christmas Lighting is still LED’s, or Light emitting diodes for you techies. The manufacturers continually surprise us with new shapes and sizes and even colors. Below are the Pro’s and Con’s of these energy saving lights.
- The LED’s don’t get hot–although they will be warm
- LED’s use up to 90% times less energy than their incandescent counterparts. Exact percentages vary by manufacture.
- You can connect 50 LED light strands compared to 6 incandescent strands end to end.
- LED’s can last up to 100,000 hours
- Beautiful vibrant color
- LED’s are more durable because they are made out of plastic. In fact the actual diode is not what you see. It’s the plastic covering the protects it that most people associate with the light.
- They come in a variety of different shapes and sizes to fit your individual taste.
- Because you can run so many you usually don’t have to pay for an electrician to come out and run new outlets
- They can cost more than 2-3 times more per strand or bulb — making them by far more expensive. With smaller displays the cost of the material is much more than you electrical savings.
- LED diodes (bulbs) cannot be replace in most light sets.
- Newer sets do not flicker but older or cheaper sets will flicker slightly.
- Cool white color isn’t for everyone (warm white is available)
- They haven’t been able to match the yellow glow of incandescents just yet.
You should buy LED’s if:
- You personally prefer the look of them
- You have a large Christmas lighting display
- You plan to use color–they have great color options
- You do not have enough electricity to run Incandescent lights
Who Shouldn’t buy LED’s
- People on a budget–
- Renters –You would have to live in the apartment or house for over a dozen + years to make your money back
- People who are sensitive to the flicker that occurs on cheap or old brands of LED’s. Some people get headaches from looking at them.–Some people don’t even notice.
- People who love that golden glow –you won’t be happy with LED’s
- People who plan to mix the two types of bulbs. The colors are not the same and will be noticeable. It’s a personal preference but I do not like the look of mixed lights.
Keep in mind that average lamp (bulb) life varies by manufacturer and it is just that “an average”. It’s the average lamp life of a bulb in their testing facility in optimum conditions. There’s a reason why they are not guarantied or warrantied by any manufacture that I am aware of. Most of these bulbs, especially the cheap ones travel thousands of miles to get from point A in Asia somewhere and to point F, which is on your tree or home. In closing, although LED’s use less energy and cost less to run unless you have a large lighting display, like the way they look, or expect to use them repeatedly for about a dozen years you will not make up the material cost. So if you’re on a budget I would pass. I like the warm white LED’s, not a fan of the cool white–too blue, but I love the colors on their multi and themed lights like candy-cane which is red and white. I hope this article helped you in your decision of whether or not to buy LED’s this season. If you have any questions please leave a comment below or call us at 214-257-8155.