Special holiday lights lighten energy use

Switch to LEDs to reduce your environmental footprint

Dark-green enviros may scoff at the modern tradition of stringing lights on a Christmas tree. After all, the ritual wastes energy and is credited to Edward H. Johnson, who worked as vice president of the Edison Electric Light Co. back in the late 1800s.

But for those who just can’t do without the holiday pomp of a twinkling tree (or the eaves of your house, shrubs, etc.), think about switching to light-emitting diodes.

According to the Alliance to Save Energy, LEDs are up to 90 percent more efficient than their incandescent counterparts. They save money, too. For instance, the estimated cost for a household to run 10 strands of large, incandescent lights in eight-hour daily increments for a month is about $128; and about $7 for the small lights. The cost to run the same number of LEDs? Just 72 cents.

ASE recommends using timers to display decorative lights for no more than six hours a day. The nonprofit coalition also warns that any lights can cause fires, so turning them off when unattended is a must. Happy holidays.