Photo: Arina P Habich (Shutterstock)
Holiday lights are a cozy tradition—as the days get shorter, a few sparkly strands can really brighten up the endless evenings. While this holiday tradition is worth keeping, traditional filament light bulbs are not. Here’s why you should make the switch to LED lights this year.
LED lights are more efficient
LED lights don’t use a filament to create light, but instead produce light by passing electricity through light-emitting diodes. As a result, they use about a tenth of the power that filament lights use. This can mean big savings on your electric bill, but it also means that you can plug more strands together without maxing out your outlet. Check the packaging for exact instructions, but on average, you can plug in eight to 10 times more bulbs per outlet.
They last longer
In addition to being more efficient, LEDs also last longer than their traditional counterparts—the typical LED bulb lasts about 50 times longer than a filament bulb. Not only does this make a difference in terms of waste, but it also makes maintenance a breeze, giving you 50,000 hours of light before the bulbs need to be replaced. Plus, if you’re using light strands outdoors, filament bulbs can burst if it gets too cold; LEDs, on the other hand, can actually get more efficient as the temperature drops.
G/O Media may get a commission
They come in more shapes and colors
LEDs come in all the traditional colors that conventional Christmas lights come in—and more. You can choose cool or warm white light, and a variety of shades of color. In addition, they come in lots of different shapes and sizes, making them a good choice if you’re going for a modern or traditional look with your light display.
They can run on batteries
Because LEDs use so much less power than filament lights, there are varieties that can be run on batteries. This means you can use them even if you don’t have an outlet nearby, making them both convenient and efficient. For places where it’s hard to hide a chord, LEDs can be a great way to add some sparkle without all the hassle. (Make sure to check the packaging of your lights to determine if it is safe to use them outdoors.)
LEDs can also be safer than regular bulbs because they don’t heat up. While a regular light bulb will be hot to the touch after being on for a few hours, LEDs remain cool to the touch, reducing the risk of fire and making them safer for kids and pets.
A few caveats
While it is cheaper, long term, to use LED lights, they can be more expensive to purchase up front. Some people also report having a negative reaction to blue LED lights, so going all blue for your display might not be a great idea. Always read all the safety information included in the packaging of your lights before you hang them, and pay attention to the limits on how many strands you should connect together to reduce the risk of fire.