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

12/21/2007 12:00:00 AM

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.

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