Christmas Lights — Get The LED Out

by Katy on November 10, 2009 · 8 comments



The following is a reprint of a previously published column. Enjoy!

As the Non-Consumer Advocate, I usually recommend for people to buy used or not buy at all. (I follow The Compact, a buy nothing new movement.) But I am going to break from my normal stance and suggest a new purchase:

LED Christmas lights.

LED lights use a fraction of the electricity of the old style larger bulbs. Enough, so that it is actually worth investing in these energy saving lights. (I consider this to be in the same can’t-buy-it-used category as CFL lightbulbs.)

Also, I want everyone to consider whether it’s worth the extra energy to electrically decorate the outside of your house to the point that gamblers show up in search of slot machines.

I’m not saying to you shouldn’t put up Christmas lights, but perhaps it’s just as pretty to have just a few. Usually, less is more.

For my house, I hung some Goodwill purchased, (99 cents for a whole box!) blue and silver glass ornament balls from a window box on the front of the house. It’s very pretty and uses no electricity.

Go ahead and switch to LED bulbs. You won’t see a spike in this year’s December electric bill, and you won’t have to deal with hoards of drunken gamblers.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Melanie November 10, 2009 at 5:24 am

I almost laughed out loud at the thought of gamblers showing up at someone’s house! It made me think of the Griswolds. We never put up lights on our house..maybe a little garland (given to us by the ‘rents). Even when I lived with my parents, they would put one string of lights on their porch bannister at the most. I agree, there are plenty of ways to look festive without running the electricity bill through the roof!


MaryC November 10, 2009 at 6:56 am

Hey, this is great because I have moved to Las Vegas and retired our old lights when we moved. LED it is! I have seen them in the stores and you have convinced me. Thanks.


fairydust November 10, 2009 at 8:40 am

We got these new LED light strings last year to hang on our deck, and they’re so pretty and I love that we’re saving money on electricity compared to the old-style strings. I believe Home Depot is offering a $3 credit on any old-style strings you turn in (even if they’re broken) towards the new LED style.


Laura November 10, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Minimalist holiday lighting for the win:


marianne November 11, 2009 at 4:28 am

i know that in new england, home depot is running a promotion that if you turn in your old christmas lights (working or not), they will give you $3 off the purchase of led lights.


alunatunes November 11, 2009 at 11:56 am

Katy you always make me chuckle. In Richmond, there is a home decorating bonanza called The Tacky Lights Tour. Astounding waste of power!
We’ll put up our fake tree (purchased five years ago) and decorate outside with a strand of green in one tree and a strand of red in another. Really is very simple and very beautiful and I don’t think we’ll be confused with a casino!


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