House decorated with LED christmas lights

Do LED Christmas Lights Save You Money?

With the Christmas season coming up, we want to light up their trees and houses, but we don’t want to break our budget. One way of doing this might be buying LED Christmas lights instead of the classic version. Here is some basic information about LED Christmas lights.

Do they use less electricity?

In the most basic sense, LED Christmas lights do use less electricity. LED bulbs use around .0022 kilowatts of electricity per hour while regular bulbs use .0408 kilowatts per hour. What does this mean? Well, if someone puts up their lights two weeks before Christmas and leave them on for four hours a day, that’s 84 hours. In those 84 hours, you’re using around 2 cents of electricity total. For regular bulbs, it’ll cost around 45 cents.

The fact that LED lights use less electricity also means that they run cooler to the touch. Since they run cooler, they are much less likely to start a tree fire. People are warned every year to not leave their bulbs on for too long and to reduce the risk of house fires. If you’re truly worried, LED bulbs might be the way to go. On average there are 210 home fires per year due to Christmas trees catching fire.

This is important for people who are truly worried, but most modern incandescent bulbs are insulated against fires. Every box of holiday lights lists the suggested amount of time it remains on. If you plan on leaving your lights on all the time, the risk dramatically increases with regular, incandescent bulbs. If you only want to leave them on for four hours at a time, you risk is significantly lower.

Do they last longer?

Supposedly, LED lights are supposed to last longer. Most claim a lifespan of 25,000-50,000 hours of use versus 1,200 for regular bulbs. This is comparable, definitely. However, how likely are you to use them for 25,000 hours? 25,000 hours is over 297 Christmases. Consider what you’re using the bulbs for.

With that being said, we’ve all had the old incandescent bulbs that have lasted for five or more years. 1,200 hours is around 14 Christmas’. I personally have purchased LED bulbs that went out in two weeks. Buy the better brand if you decide to purchase LED lights and keep the receipt handy.

Do they save money?

You be the judge. What are you going to use the lights for? Do you plan on leaving them on for hundreds of hours per season? If the answer is yes, then consider purchasing LED lights. They will save you money in the long run. Store these lights properly and they can last you ten years or more. Keep in mind that the cost is on average $11 whereas regular bulbs cost around $3.

Overall, for 84 hours, you’ll spend $3.45 on a string of regular, incandescent bulbs. For LED bulbs, you’re looking at $11.02. That’s just in the first year. If you store the lights correctly, you’ll end up seeing savings after nine years. You’ll save a dollar or more based on how often you keep your lights on.

LED lights cost more up front, but over the long term, you’re looking at savings. $4-10 over nine years isn’t much to worry about. You’re better off buying whichever lights you think look best. 

Last Updated: November 16, 2015