Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Experts Say LED Holiday Lights Last Longer, Save Energy




LED lights can save you some money this holiday season, and they'll likely last for decades. NY1's Consumer Watch reporter Asa Aarons filed the following report.

LED or light-emitting diode lights illuminate more coolly than traditional bulbs. You can also string more together.

But what about the cost?

Many retailers report that this season, LED sales are close to those of regular incandescent lights, and the high LED price has come down to make them competitive.

At the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), they've been doing cost analysis between newer LEDs and traditional bulbs.

“They use about 70 percent less energy than a normal incandescent light and last 10 times longer. So they’re much more durable, they use less energy,” says Cameron Bard of the NYSERDA.

According the U.S. Department of Energy, 10 sets of 100 LED bulbs would only cost 60 cents a month to operate, compared to up to $26 dollars for traditional lights.

LEDs have an estimated life of 20,000 hours—about 40 holiday seasons.

LED lights are safe and contain nothing harmful. The same cannot be said for their compact fluorescent cousins. CFLs contain a substance that could potentially put a damper on Christmas or any other holiday.

“It does contain a small amount of mercury, so you want to be careful. That means if you’re gonna dispose of it, you wanna always take it to a hazardous recycling center. If it does break, you want to seal it up and take it to one of those centers right away,” says Bard.

Millions of the fluorescent bulbs are doing a nice job illuminating low-traffic areas like closets and basements. Holiday bulbs are often moved and jostled, so you should be the judge. Whichever light type you go with, NYSERDA recommends a timer to switch them on and off each day. They say it’s not overkill.

“What we’ve continually found is that when people need to rely on behaviors, they oftentimes forget. This eliminates human error,” says Bard.

Source for this article: NY1

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