Monday, December 19, 2011

LED Savings Long Term But Worth It!

How much do you really save?

The Holiday season is in full swing. The halls are decked with holly and this year it looks like many of us have adopted a new and more “greener” approach to decorating our homes. Driving around I have noticed more and more LED lights being used as decorations. They are easy to spot as they are much brighter and pierce the darkness more than their incandescent older siblings.

This trend is really good news. The efficiency of these lights is nothing short of extraordinary. One string of 50 LED lights uses about 7 watts of power. One standard incandescent lamp that we used on our trees … you know the ones that were also used as nightlights when we were kids … consumes between 4 and 7 watts EACH. So a string of 50 lights would consume between 200 and 250 watts verses the LED’s consumption of 7 watts.

For sure the environmental impact is very positive. The amount of electricity required to power our festive displays using LED lights is a small fraction of the incandescent alternative. For sure you are being “green” when you switch over to LEDS. But will you save some “green?”

If you are buying new lights you will quickly find that the LED lights are priced at about double of what you will pay for the standard incandescent strings. I found sets of 50 LED lights at a local store for about $7. So your initial cash outlay is higher. The LED lights do have a much longer life. Most are rated for about 25,000 hours of use. That works out to almost 3 years of continuous use. So your kids’ kids’ kids will be using these lights (if they can keep track of where they store them…that’s another issue).

In the long run, and I really mean long run, someone will save money but in most cases it won’t be you. Nevertheless, the positive impact of using less energy is enough of a reason to choose LED lights for this and other lighting needs. The prices continue to fall and there are more choices of lamps that have a softer glow than the original LED offerings.

One other thing…in January I will be offering “A Digital Survivor’s Guide” at the Harrison Library. This 2-part presentation covers new technologies, services and devices. Part 1: Monday, January 16 and Part 2: Monday, January 23. Both run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Please register in advance for both sessions. Call (513) 369-4442 or email

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