The Economics of LED Christmas Lights
Updated May 2015
In the 1980's a 35 light set of Christmas tree lights would cost $10.00. That would be more than $29 today. Christmas lights were expensive back then, and most people would spend a few years building up a stock of lights, only to have to replace them the following year. As time went on Christmas lights became less expensive, and now you can buy a cheap 100 light set for under $3 at Wal-Mart. In fact, the lights have become so cheap that most people now consider them disposable. Why waste 1 or 2 hours of time untangling the lights from the tree, when they won't last very long, and only cost $3? It's not a hard choice for many people. The now cheap, disposable, Christmas lights are creating a lot of waste and bad habits for Christmas decorators.
Just when Christmas lights became so cheap, that we are willing to throw them away, LED Christmas lights have become readily available. The new LED Christmas lights are nearly 2-3 times more expensive than standard incandescent holiday lights, and many people were or still are reluctant to give up their disposable lights. However, a good set of LED Christmas lights will last for about 50,000 hours (an incandescent will last about 2,000), will require virtually no maintenance/troubleshooting (incandescent require constant maintenance/troubleshooting), and will use 70% - 90% less electricity to operate.
Let's say you light your holiday tree for about 10 hours each day, and keep it lit for 45 days, a set of LED Christmas lights would last 111 years (you may have to will these lights to your children). Not only will you probably never have to replace the lights again, saving money on replacement costs - they also use less energy, saving you money on your electric bill. If you add up this monetary savings, along with all the maintenance/troubleshooting headaches you will avoid, switching to LED is an easy decision. And don't forget that using LED Christmas lights, instead of the "disposable" incandescent alternative, will mean a lot less strings of tangled plastic and wire in our landfills and a cleaner environment.
This year when you are shopping for holiday lights, consider the total cost of the lights, and save money with LED Christmas lights.