Deck the halls with energy-efficient lighting

When one goes out, they all go out, right?
Wrong, if you use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to do your holiday decorating. These energy-saving lights are guaranteed to give you one less thing to worry about so you can better focus on the joys of the season. Why are LED holiday lights better than traditional bulbs?

• LEDs are now on par with traditional bulbs. Gone are the days when LED holiday lights were known for a harsh white light or stark colors that created a less-than-magical atmosphere. These days, LEDs come in warm, inviting colors in variety of light beam patterns and dimming speeds, giving you lots of creative options for decorating.
• LEDs last longer than traditional lights. In fact, they have an operational life span of about 20,000 hours, enough to last for 40 holiday seasons. Also, the lights don’t have glass or filaments, which makes them durable and resistant to breaking. And because LEDs bulbs are so strong, one individual outage generally doesn’t darken the whole strand. For those enthusiastic decorators who like to blanket their entire house and yard in holiday lights, LEDs could save hours of painstaking work each year.
• LEDs use less energy, which means less strain on your first winter electric bill. Running LEDs on one 6-ft. Christmas tree for 12 hours per day for 40 days can save 90 percent or more energy when compared to traditional incandescent  lights.
• Because they use less energy, LEDs make it safer to connect multiple strands end-to-end without overloading the wall socket. Also, they’re cool to the touch, reducing the risk of fire.

Look for brands and manufacturers of ENERGY STAR-qualified LED decorative light strings at www.energystar.gov.

Article by Angela Perez, NRECA’s Straight Talk

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