Follow the LED

Not to be a Grinch, but during a time when everyone is talking about conserving energy, the pretty twinkling lights of Christmas seem pretty wasteful. Strands of LED holiday lights provide a low-energy, low-emission alternative to a dark roof or tree.

LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lights use 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and 75 percent less than your standard mini-lights used for the holidays.

Consumer Reports compared incandescents versus LED lights and found that LEDs “won” when it came to energy use, cost, durability and the environment. The main downfall is LEDs weren’t as bright as incandescents. Strands of LED lights cost more initially than incandescent lights, but their energy efficiency usually saves consumers more over the long run. Consumer Reports said, “It’s apt to take more than one holiday season for the savings to kick in, and you might not realize any savings if payback takes more than three 90-day seasons. As a rule, you shouldn’t use decorative lights longer than that.”