Blue Christmas Lights Special

Blue and White LED Christmas Lights

On my street, 'keeping up with the Joneses' is something that comes up once a year around Christmas time. My neighbors have a unusually competitive streak when it comes to Christmas lights (instead of the traditional luminarias). I don't try to top anyone's holiday light show, but I do hang a few strings to participate. This year I finally upgraded to LED Christmas lights as the old lights were in pretty rough shape.

To my annoyance, I couldn't find much info online comparing LED Christmas lights. So, I went ahead and bought 3 strings of lights from a 'well-known manufacturer'. I chose two strings with cool-white bulbs and one with blue bulbs, based purely on personal preference (there were multi-colored, red and warm-white LED strings). Each ~20 foot string is rated at 4.8 watts per 60 LED lights. That's about 1/8th the power consumption of an equivalent string of incandescent Christmas lights. The total for my underachieving holiday light show is less than 15 watts.

The only quirk I've noticed about these LED Christmas lights is that they have a minor 60 Hertz flicker. This is due to how the LED strings are wired to run on 120VAC and is only noticeable if you stare at an individual bulb. As I usually don't stare at individual Christmas light bulbs I don't think it's much of an issue. We do have another string of indoor LED lights (from a different manufacturer) that are DC powered by their own 'wall-wart' transformer. That LED light string doesn't flicker, but it is rated at about 6 watts for 16 LED's.

Am I really saving money with LED Christmas lights? Well, I'm spending less on the electrical bill and the LED lights should last up to 25,000 hours. Since we have our Christmas lights on about 6-8 hours each evening during December these LED lights could last 100 years or more. If I'm still around in 100 years I'll let you know if they're still working. Now I need to recycle the old Christmas lights (PVC, glass, copper) either through or at our city recycling station.

More Info:

Luminaria / Farolito Christmas Light Recycling Program