Monday, November 26, 2007

LED CHRISTmas lights

So the newest trend in Christmas lights this year is LED Christmas lights. They are pretty cool - they look like old-fashioned strings of lights, and are Waaaaay energy efficient. An article in the local paper recently pointed out that 600 of these lights, running 5 hours per day for 30 days, will cost approximately 56 cents. Total. Compared, as the article says, to running the same amount of traditional lights for the same time - at the price tag of $23.00. Wow. No wonder my electric bill is so high in December and January.

But of course - my analytical nature came in. These bulbs are great, they use very little energy, and i imagine that they hold up better in storage because there is no glass on the bulbs. But, they cost a lot more. A recent trip to the store priced out a strand of 600 conventional type bulbs for $16. Right next store were the fancy new LED lights - 100 for $18. Yikes! So for 600 lights, you will spend $92 more for LED bulbs. And it will save you $22.50 in energy costs.

Hmmm - so what's the ROI? Assuming you are buying new lights anyway, just over 4 years at the 5 hours for 30 days run time. Could be more or less depending on how much you are in the holiday spirit :). So overall, would I pre-pay 4 years of electricity to save on the fifth and succeeding years? Well, assuming the lights hold up at least that long. This year, I'm gonna have to say no. Too much upfront cost, and I have A LOT of lights to replace. Maybe in a couple years, when the price comes down a little, and I have more disposable income for this type of thing. :)

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