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Holiday Lights


Ramona Madhosingh-Hector, UF/IFAS Extension, Urban Sustainability Agent

The holiday season always gets a jumpstart just around Halloween and this year was no exception.  Part of the appeal for the season is the ability to decorate our homes to host holiday parties for friends and family.

Holiday lights are a big part of holiday celebrations – they brighten hearts, homes, and landscapes creating a vibrant atmosphere with the use of color. LEDs or Light Emitting Diodes are an attractive alternative to incandescent lights because of the energy and money savings.  LEDs are also available in different colors and styles from icicles to snowflakes and can be easily found at local retailers and online vendors.  Though LEDs are a little more costly, the prices have steadily dropped and your energy and money savings will certainly pay for that initial investment.  The chart below compares the typical costs of incandescent and LED lighting during the holiday season.

Estimated cost of electricity to light a six-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days

Incandescent C-9 lights


LED C-9 lights


Incandescent Mini-lights


LED Mini-lights


Source:  Department of Energy

For more information about LEDs and the cost of buying and operating holiday lights, check here.

Here are some other advantages for replacing or upgrading incandescent holiday light strings with LEDs.

  • Safety – LEDs are cooler than incandescent lights and reduce the risk of combustion or burnt fingers after extended periods of lighting
  • Sturdiness – Holiday LEDs are made with epoxy plastic instead of glass and are much more resistant to breakage
  • Longevity – LEDs are longer lasting and can be used for multiple holidays and occasions.  LEDs can last for up to 25,000 hours and save 90% in energy costs
  • Installation – connected end to end, LEDs low wattage requirements allow multiple strings to be connected without overloading wall sockets

So go ahead, light up your holidays and save money at the same time.


Department of Energy

LEDS – What you need to know?

Your Energy Efficient Home – LED Lighting