Image via Flickr by Sneakerdog
Christmas comes during the darkest time of the year, requiring lots of light for Santa to see his way through the blanket of night. It’s always been a tradition to light a lamp or two for Christmas Eve, but the advent of technology means that there are those who take the idea to the extreme, and not just for one night. The entire period of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is used as a reason for going crazy with lights, but running those lights can get expensive. Here are three different ways to keep the lights on for less.
Take Advantage of LED Lights for Displays
LEDs are de rigeur when it comes to outdoor and indoor lighting. Light emitting diodes have come a long way in terms of affordability and reliability. They don’t burn out and light up brightly no matter how hot or cold it is outside. They also have a superior advantage over traditional lightbulbs in that they use much less energy. The amount of energy required to run a string of LED Christmas lights, like the ones you’ll find from ChristmasLightsEtc.com, is miniscule (a half-cent per hour) compared to incandescent bulbs.
LEDs also offer features that an incandescent bulb simply can’t: color changing. Prior to the LED, the only way an incandescent bulb could change color was through the use of films placed in front of them. LEDs can be made to turn different colors, programmed to change at certain times or in time to music, or to flicker in specific patterns. Incandescent bulbs were capable of the latter two, but the risk of a bulb blowing out and taking the rest of the string with it was very high. LEDs don’t burn out easily, and if one fails, the rest of the string stays lit.
Replace Existing Incandescent Bulbs With LEDs
Take the time to go through all the lights and discard any that don’t or won’t have value down the road. Some manufacturers of light strings have a collectible value, so make sure to check before putting them in the garbage. If they are worth something, put them back in their box and find a safe place for them, but make sure to never actively use them again.
The idea of spending money on LED strings when the incandescent ones are perfectly good might seem counter-intuitive. Going to LEDs sees an immediate cost savings on the electric bill and quickly returns the investment.
Use Artificial Christmas Trees With Pre-Installed Lights
Artificial Christmas trees are available pre-wired with LED lights, saving time and energy. Occasionally it’s possible to find an artificial tree with fiber optics in the form of pine needles which make for an interesting visual. Both versions are energy efficient, safe, and aren’t going to drop needles or put the house at risk of fire. LEDs and fiber optics don’t use a lot of electricity, nor do they create heat. Plus time and money is saved by not having to decorate the tree with light strings.
Lighting up for the holiday season has become an inexpensive proposition with the mass production of LED light strings. It’s much cheaper to decorate and light up a house brightly than ever before.