Replacing traditional incandescent decorative lights with high-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs is one great way to conserve energy during the holidays.
When shopping for holiday lights, look for the ENERGY STAR® label to ensure that the product meets energy-efficiency requirements. ENERGY STAR is a program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that helps save money and protects the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. It makes sure that appliances, lighting and electronics are using less energy than their older, energy-hog counterparts.
ENERGY STAR-qualified LED decorative lights are exceptionally energy efficient, many using up to 90 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light. For example, the electricity consumed by just one 7-watt incandescent bulb could power 140 LEDs—or enough to power two 24-foot strings.
DOE estimates the cost of buying and operating LED lights for 10 holiday seasons would be $17.99 compared with $122.19 for incandescent bulbs. In addition to consuming less electricity and costing less, LED holiday lights are:
Timers and dimmers for those holiday lights will help conserve even more energy. Watch for rebates that will help defray the cost of LEDs and other energy-efficient lighting products; many electric utilities offer rebates for LEDs (visit www.dsireusa.org). And be sure to recycle your old holiday lights. Visit the Clean Energy Resource Teams website to find out where you can recycle old lights in Minnesota.
Minnesota Energy Tips is provided twice a month by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. Contact the division’s Energy Information Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-657-3710 with energy questions.