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It's Beginning to Look a Lot like an LED Christmas

By Jaime Netzer

Tags: light bulbs, LEDs, energy efficiency,

This past weekend, on a return flight home from a brief vacation to Colorado, I gazed out of the small airplane window and watched the sun set. The sky turned from pink to purple to deep blue, and soon I began to notice twinkling lights far below. As we started our descent into Kansas City international airport, I was treated to a show of more Christmas lights than I could have fit into several nights' worth of driving around and 'ooh-ing' and 'aah-ing.'

I was thrilled to see such enthusiastic displays of holiday cheer — but then thought; 'I wonder how much money and electricity we all waste during the holidays?' Turns out, we waste a lot. According to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a season's worth of decorative holiday lighting can add as much as $70 to your electric bill. If you're looking for a money-saving solution, spring for LED (light-emitting diode) strands: The bright bulbs add as little as $0.43 to your total holiday bill. Most LED strands average only about $5 to $7 more than incandescent bulbs, and can last for up to 20 years. They can be found at many major retail stores (like here

, at Target.)

If you're looking to cut out electricity usage all together, solar-powered LED strands are also available. These strands are pricier, but require no messy extension cords and, obviously, no power costs. Strands like these can run for 6 to 8 hours on one day's charge, lighting the way for Santa with ease all while making Mother Earth smile! Do you have other alternative lighting solutions? Have you found a great deal on LED lights? Share your comments in the comments field below.