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HOLIDAY LIGHTS: 100+ Best Places and Best Reasons to Purchase LED Lights

November 23, 2007

holiday LED lightsYou are in the midst of your remodel, or about to start.  The holidays are here.  Time to hang the holiday lights.  Like the other greener choices you are making, please make a choice to “GetWithLED’s” for your holiday lights.

To make it easy, GetWithGreen.com has compiled the most comprehensive one-stop shop on the web to cover all of your holiday lighting needs.  We have turned over webstones across the internet to bring you:

  • The most in-depth list of online stores offering LED Christmas Lights. 
  • A comprehensive list of internet articles that offer you all that you will ever want to know about LED Christmas Lights
  • Answers to 10 Frequently Asked Questions about LED Christmas Lights, including lead content.   (some information provided by HolidayLED’s.com - one of the true all-around holiday light sites on the web)

And…remember to turn your holiday lights off when you go to bed! 

GETWITHGREEN’S TOP PLACES TO SHOP FOR LED HOLIDAY LIGHTS

GetWithGreen.com searched and filtered the web so you did not need to this holiday season.  Below you will find our complete list of online stores offering LED Christmas lights and decorations across the United States.  Here is THE definitive list…
HolidayLEDs.com
(GWG Recommendation)
ChristmasTreasures                     E3Living.com
Christmas Lights Etc.                   Holiday Creations
1000bulbs                                    Christmas Lights.com
Little Bright Lights                       Christmas Lights & Decorations
Christmas Light Source                The Home Depot
Santa?s Lites                               Target (Phillips/Philips brand lights)
Environmental Lights.com            inirgee
Gardeners.com                            All American Christmas Co.
Mr. Light.com                             INYO Winter.com
NoveltyLights.com                       Sival Lighting
Christmas-Lights-Online.com       Bronners
Brookstone                                  Silicon Solar, Inc.
Grovelands                                  Merchant Overstock.com
Christmas People                         Great Occasions
OutdoorChristmasLights.net         Light Bulbs Direct
Betty?s Christmas House              SolarPoweredGetics.com
ChristmasMoon.com                    Santa?s Quarters
HolidayLighting.com                    AllThingsChristmas.com
Festive-Lights.com                     WattBusters
LEDTronics                                 Holiday Treasures
LED Rope Lights And More           Christmas Decorations Gift Store
Imagination Lighting                   ChristmasDepot.com
Xmas-Ornament.com                  Christmas Trees Galore
Bethlehem Lighting                     ForeverLEDChristmasLights
Holiday Lights & Magic                LED Wavers
Stats & Fishbecks                       Christmas Express
GetChristmasLights.com            Topbulb.com
Christmasplace.com                   Creative Decorating
Christmas Lights Etc.                 Christmas Lights Montana
ChristmasGiftsVIP                       Fun-LED-Light
Seasonal Reflections                   LEDHolidayLighting.com
Green Home                               GoodCommonSense.net
Forever LED

led christmas light          led christmas light 2          led christmas light 3 
(Images: The Home Depot)

GETWITHGREEN’S LIST OF TOP LED CHRISTMAS LIGHT ARTICLES  
GetWithGreen.com searched the web and handpicked some favorite stories and articles about holiday lights and LED holiday lights.  Check out what we found by clicking on the links below:   

WiseGEEK.com:  What are LED Christmas lights?
Inhabitat.com: LED Christmas Lights
Gizmodo:  The Pros and Cons of LED Christmas Lights
Treehugger: Pine Cone LED Christmas Lights
MeAndMyDrum:  LED Christmas lights have a bright future
Ciphers by Ritter: LED Christmas Lights and How to Fix Them
Environmental Defense: Decorate with Energy Saving Christmas Lights
Suite101.com: Save with LED Christmas Lights
Suite 101.com:  The Benefits of LED Lighting
Wikipedia: Christmas Lights
About.com - Frugal Living:  LED Christmas Lights: Just the Facts
Green Options:  LED Christmas Tree Lights  (compilation of LED Christmas light lighting posts ? many from HolidayLEDs.com)
AChannel:  Converting to LED Christmas Lights (video)
TerraPass: Deck the halls with solar-powered LED Christmas lights (there is a little voting engine on this site and the results read 90%+ consumers are looking for solar powered LED lights ? MANUFACTURERS AND SELLERS TAKE NOTE!!
Hippyshopper:  Oliver Heath?s eco friendly LED Christmas Lights (video)
LED Center: LED Christmas Lights from Philips (overview of the actual LED mechanics)
Caroline Bourke:  A Guide To The Benefits Of LED Christmas Lights
Erin Covert * Hands On:  Why should you switch to LED Christmas Lights (we really like how she extracted the billing data from PG&E)
Residential Landscape Lighting & Design: LED Christmas Light Strings
Instructables.com:  USB powered Christmas lights
Christmas Lights and Holiday Lights: Christmas Light Bulbs (history of Christmas lights)
LoveToKnow:  Christmas Lights
Lightbulbs.com:  Christmas Lights and Holiday Lighting (overview of different types of lights & terminology)
Brite-Lite: LED Holiday Lights (nice overview of holiday light bulbs)
 

TOP “10″ QUESTIONS ABOUT LED CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Why Should I Switch to LED holiday Lights? (from HolidayLED’s.com)

  1. Added safety – Lamps always remain cool to the touch. Because holiday lighting is often used in close proximately to combustible materials (dry evergreen trees) this feature can greatly reduce the risk of holiday fires.
  2. Solid-state reliability. No longer will you have to worry about one lamp ruing your whole string.
  3. Longevity – L.E.D. lamps are rated for up to 200,000 hours of use while standard incandescent lights typically last for only 2,000 hours.
  4. No glass bulbs to break. LED lights are encased in an nearly indestructible epoxy casing.
  5. No filaments to burn out. Unlike incandescent bulbs there is not filament to burn out so they last much longer and won’t be damage or ruined if you drop them or step on them.
  6. Extreme energy efficiency, uses only 10% of the electricity required to power traditional incandescent. For a typical household this will mean a cost savings of $20.00 or more during the standard 30 day holiday season.
  7. Nearly indestructible, solid epoxy lenses. High-quality LED lights can withstand the force of a tractor trailer without breaking.
  8. Rust proof, Zinc-coated lamp contacts. The lamp components will not rust when used outdoors or in moist environments.
  9. Uses standard house current (120 VAC, 60 Hz). No need for an electrician or expensive power converters.
  10. No transformer required. Allows for simple installation and use.

Will LED holiday lights look the same as my standard incandescent lights (from HolidayLED’s.com) 

Most people find that the LED lights are more brilliant than their old incandescent lights, but the color and overall appearance is generally very similar to standard incandescent string lights.

Can LED Christmas lights be attached to my old incandescent string lights? (from HolidayLED’s.com)

LED string lights contain a tiny fuse which is built into the string. Because incandescent lights draw so much more power than LED strings it is likely that the incandescent lights will blow the fuse in the LED string. We do not recommend that you use your LED strings with old incandescent strings for this reason.

What are the Top Reasons to go greener with LED Christmas lights (from HolidayLED’s.com) 

holiday led lights eco-friendlySave the Earth
LED string lighting uses approximately 90% less energy than standard incandescent string lights. An average sized Christmas tree illuminated with incandescent string lighting for a 30 day period will consumer approximately 75kW of energy. The same tree illuminated with LED string lighting for the same period will use only 7.5kW of energy. This is an energy savings of 68.5 kW of electricity per year for a single Christmas tree. The energy savings even more significant for the many homes who decorate extensively with string lighting. 

In addition to the energy savings offered by LED string lighting, the product is also a more earth-friendly because of its long life-cycle. HolidayLEDs LED string lighting will last for 50,000 hours or more. This means that the average household will need to replace and dispose of their Christmas lighting much less often, decreasing waste.

Save Your Family
LED string lighting produces very little heat and remains cool to the touch even after hours of operation. As a result, LED lights are much safer to operate in close proximity to combustible materials such as Christmas trees. This is because LED technology directly creates light simply the movement of electricity through the circuit. Very little heat is produced.

In contrast, an incandescent lamp creates light by moving electricity through a conductive material which creates electrical resistance. The resistance of the conductive material creates heat which in turn produces light. Simply put, an incandescent lamp produces heat and light is merely a by-product of the process.

From 2000 to 2004 the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that Christmas trees, both natural and artificial, were the first item ignited in 300 of the reported home fires. These fires cause 14 civilian deaths, 21 injuries, and $16.5 million in property damage. These figures are especially significant when one considers that the average Christmas tree is only illuminated for a maximum period of 30 days each year.

In addition, the NFPA reported that holiday decorative lighting directly caused an additional 170 home structure fires in the same period with various materials being the primary source of ignition. These fires caused an additional 19 civilian injuries and $5.5 million in property damage. The use of LED holiday decorative lighting can greatly reduce the risk of accidental home fires during the holiday season.

Save Your Money
Based on the recent national average cost of electricity, it will cost the average household $9.00 for a 30 day holiday season to illuminate a single Christmas tree with 5 strings of 25 lamp incandescent string lights. In contrast the cost to illuminate the same Christmas tree for the same period of time with LED string lighting would be $.90. This may not seem like a lot of money but the average household typically illuminates more than just a Christmas tree. Many homes will use in excess of 50 strings of lighting during the holiday season. This would increase the cost savings to nearly $90 per season.

Perhaps more importantly is the cost of the lights themselves. Because LED string lighting will last nearly 10 times longer than standard incandescent string lighting, this means the consumer will have to replace Christmas lights much less frequently. At an average cost of $5.99 per 25 lamp string of incandescent string lighting, this would mean that the average household would spend approximately $300 for lighting to last that same period that would cost only $100 if LED string lighting were used.

And for you holiday lighting fanatics out there (you know the ones whose homes single-handedly cause regional blackouts) the costs savings cannot be ignored.

Save Your Sanity
The holiday season should be a time of joy, relaxation, and family gathering. Unfortunately, the tradition of illuminating Christmas trees, homes, and landscaping during the holiday season can be a stressful undertaking. This is because traditional incandescent string lighting is susceptible to failure for any number of reasons.

Unlike incandescent lighting, LED string lighting is very durable and rarely fails. This is because LED lighting is constructed of solid state components which are not easily damaged by external shock. In fact, LED string lamps are encased in a nearly indestructible epoxy shell which has proven to withstand the weight of a tractor-trailer. Incandescent bulbs can be damaged or broken if simply dropped on the ground.

In addition to the near indestructible lamp, HolidayLED.com LED string lights are connected with a firm and durable tangle-resistant wire which will relieve you of the miserable chore of untangling the Christmas lights you retrieved from the attic.

Why are some colors of LEDs more expensive than others? (from HolidayLED’s.com)

The cost of LED string lighting varies from color to color because different semi-conductor materials are used to create the different colors. Some semi-conductor materials cost more than others and the cost to manufacture the product varies depending on the type of semi-conductor used. White LEDs are the most expensive because red, green, and blue are combined together to make a white LED.

green led                  multi-color led                 white led christmas light

HolidayLED’s.com Energy Scrooge Calculator (from HolidayLED’s.com)

Standard incandescent holiday lights are inefficient, costly, and bad for the environment. Making the switch to LED Christmas lights will not only save dollars off your holiday utility bill but it will also do more than you think for the environment. HolidayLED’s.com developed the Energy Scrooge? Calculator to help illustrate the impact your choice to switch to LED Christmas lights will have on our environment.

holiday led logoAfter HolidayLED’s developed this calculator and ran a few tests they actually couldn?t believe the results?they seemed too good to be true. So, they decided to handicap the race a little bit to give incandescent lights a bit of a head start. But it is still no contest.

In case you are interested in checking HolidayLED’s math, here are the assumptions made by the Energy Scrooge? Calculator:

  • The average cost of electricity is $.11 per kilowatt hour.
  • An average set of standard incandescent mini-lights consumes .8 watts of electricity per bulb. (*The Energy Scrooge? calculator only compares LEDs to incandescent mini-lights. The numbers are much larger if comparing LEDs with larger C7 or C9 incandescent bulbs.)
  • HolidayLEDs.com LED Christmas lights consume .072 watts of electricity per bulb.\The average life of a set of incandescent Christmas lights is about 2,000 hours.
  • The average life of a set of LED Christmas lights will be 25,000 hours. (*Actually our lights are rated for 50,000 hours.)
  • We did not take into consideration the cost to replace the incandescent lights during the 25,000 hour life of the LEDs. You would have to replace your standard incandescent lights 12 times during the average expected life of a set of LEDs.
  • We did not consider the cost of incandescent replacement bulbs.
  • A single mature tree will absorb 13 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
  • 1.55 pounds of carbon dioxide is created to produce 1 kilowatt hour of electricity.

To try out the Energy Scrooge Calculator, simply add a product to the shopping cart and it will calculate the savings. (*Adding a product to the cart does not require you to login, create an account or in any way obligate you to make a purchase on HolidayLED’s.com.)

Should you recycle your old Christmas lights?   Or should you just throw them away?

The answer is YES.  Where can you recycle them?  GetWithGreen.com suggests contacting your local ACE Hardware, as they are collecting them locally for our community in Northern, CA.  

Additionally, we have contacted The Home Depot, and they are going to get back to us on their present program (for example, in Canada they just completed a program for bringing in your old lights and getting a discount on new LED lights).

Finally, while the shipping costs and emissions may be prohibitive to some, the team at HolidayLEDs.com also has a recycling program.  Read more about HolidayLEDs.com recycling program.

What is all this talk about a “Timer” for my new LED Christmas lights?

GetWithGreen.com wants to remind us all that holiday lights (no matter what kind) consume energy.  Do your part by buying LEDs.  At the same time, please only keep them “On” when necessary.  Don’t forget to turn them “Off” when you go to bed.

You can avoid having to remember by simply purchasing an inexpensive timer at your local hardware store (or at one of the online stores we mentioned above).  Using a timer, the LED light string plugs into the timer, and the timer plugs into your light socket.  You can set the lights to turn “On” at anytime you specify, and turn “Off” around bedtime.  Please don’t leave your lights on all night long!

What if I am too tired and filled with turkey to hang and recycle holiday lights this year?   

If you just don’t have the energy this holiday season to hang your new LED Christmas lights, and time to dispose properly of your existing energy hog lights, GetWithGreen.com found The Christmas Light Pros

Do holiday lights contain lead? (from HolidayLED’s.com)

As the holiday season is approaching many people are asking questions about new lead warning labels that are showing up on certain electronic devices including holiday lights. These warning labels can be found on many common household electronic devices and are alarming to people because it is a new label and warns that the product contains lead. With recent recalls of children?s toys manufactured in China which were found to contain lead most consumers have cause to be concerned. However, the new warning label does require some explanation.

The warning labels are the result of lead being added to a list of toxic materials that require disclosure pursuant to California?s Proposition 65. This law requires all products sold in the State of California that contain any amount of a listed toxic material to contain a warming label.

One product that is now required to bear the warning label is holiday lights. Most all Christmas lights contain some amount of lead. In fact, they always have contained some amount of lead but no one was aware of it until California law required its disclosure. The lead in holiday string lights is used as an additive to the Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) wire covering. The lead acts as a heat resistant insulator and also used to help stabilize the coloring of the wire. All PVC contains some sort of metal stabilizer including lead, cadmium or tin. Christmas lights have contained lead since they have used PVC as an insulating coating and pose no danger with normal use. Lead containing PVC is used in many common household applications including the PVC piping used to deliver our drinking water, other electrical cords which are insulated with PVC, and even car keys.

The warning does not mean the lights are not safer for their intended use. In fact, the U.S. government has determined that they are safe when properly used. However, because the lights contain some lead it is wise to follow some simple rules to limit the risk of exposure:

  1. Do not allow children to handle the lights.
  2. Always wash hands thoroughly after handling the lights.
  3. Make sure curious toddlers are kept away from the lights and other items that may contain lead.
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