Incandescent light bulbs waste a good amount of energy. As much as 90% of the energy sucked up by these traditional light bulbs is released as heat – as anyone who has touched a hot light bulb with bare skin is aware. They can also become a fire hazard when situated near cloth or flammable materials.
In addition to these failings, regular fluorescent, incandescent light bulbs burn out quickly and must be replaced every few months. In contrast, LED lights are efficient, don’t emit heat, convert more energy into light, and can last for years.
All of these benefits can provide a significant savings year round, but the real benefits of LED lights come in the winter. Days are shorter and more lighting is needed, and the holidays, when extra lights are expected to be used for decoration of the home and tree.
Since LED lights do not get hot to the touch, they are safe to use on Christmas trees, wreaths or garlands. Individual strands can last for up to ten years, and the energy usage is much lower than traditional, hot Christmas lights.
The cool light allows plastic bulbs to be used, making each strand more durable and less prone to breakage. They can be easily tossed in a box at the end of the year and stored. You can choose from a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and color, and use them for indoor and outdoor décor.
LED lights for the home have two primary hues – the early LED lights have a slightly blue, cool light, which some people didn’t like at first. However, with improved technology, LED lights now come in a warm white option that gives you a golden hue more appreciated by those who prefer a cozy feel.
The one drawback of the LED bulbs over traditional light bulbs is the initial cost – LED lights can cost 3-4 times as much. However, the savings kicks in thanks to the fact that an LED bulb can last several years before requiring replacement, and the lower amount of energy it draws multiplied by the number of bulbs in the home provides even more savings that can be appreciated year round, as well as during the peak holiday season.
According to the Department of Energy, using 15 watt LED bulbs over a 60-watt traditional light bulb saves 75% in energy costs daily, and the life of the bulb is 10 times as long. Other sources put the lifespan of an LED bulb at anywhere from 3-25 times as long as an incandescent bulb, so your savings may vary.
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