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LED vs. Incandescent Christmas Lights: Which Is Better?

By Edited Aug 16, 2015 0 0

Are LED Christmas Lights Better?

Benefits and Comparisons Between The Two

If you're trying to get that house all lit up, chances are you've been scratching your head as to which type of bulb to pick. Most retailers now carry two distinct types of lights: LED Christmas light strings, and incandescent bulbs. They each rely on a different technology, but at first glance it's hard to pick. 

Everyone has their own traditions, and I've definitely argued with my wife about this one! We each have our preferences, and for our own reasons. Holidays are meant to be special, and none is more magical than Christmas. Making an informed decision on which type of Christmas light to buy is a tough thing, and understanding the technology and the benefits of each type is important. 

This article takes a close look at LED Christmas lights, and we'll go over what they have to offer that's beneficial. We'll do a cross comparison, and mention any cons that either style might have. If you have any questions I'd be happy to help, just leave a message in the comments area below. 

Let's get started!

LED vs. Incandescent Christmas Tree Lights
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/79682337@N04/8208885727/

Benefits of LED Christmas Lights:

Why They're Great

LED Christmas lights have a number of big advantages over standard incandescent bulbs, which is why you're seeing more and more of them on store shelves. They've got qualities that even the best incandescent Christmas bulbs can't match, and they are pretty appealing. 

Here are a few of the benefits of choosing LED Christmas tree lights over other options, as related to me by the owner of a Vancouver Christmas light installation company, Light Knights.

Bulbs Not 'Inline':

Many lighting strings suffer from a big issue: if one burns out, the rest of the strand is toast too. LED Christmas tree lighting doesn't suffer from this problem, and if a single light were to burn out (which is unlikely), the rest of the string won't be affected. 

This is great because you don't have to hunt for the dead bulb anymore!

More Durable:

These lights can take a beating like none other. Light emitting diodes are built to be extremely durable, and they aren't reliant on a delicate filament like a standard bulb is. For that reason, they can be bumped and jostled without much fear of them going out.

Most of the bulbs themselves are encased in a hard plastic shell, and they'll only go out of the wire comes loose, which is pretty unlikely. Since they're not made of glass, they're less likely to shatter.

They're also more resistant to cold and wet weather, meaning they're perfect for lining your house in the colder winter months.

No Excess Heat:

Even though standard incandescent Christmas tree bulbs don't generate a ton of heat, they're still liable to get hot enough to scorch paper. For that reason they're a fire hazard, and they must be watched and monitored carefully. 

Not so with LED lighting for your Christmas tree! A huge advantage of a light emitting diode is the fact that they generate virtually no heat, so they're extremely safe to string just about anywhere. 

Very Long Life:

A major benefit of LED Christmas lights vs. incandescent is the fact that they have a huge lifespan. LEDs don't really burn out, they just gradually get dimmer over time. They are capable of lasting more than 10 times as long as an incandescent light bulb.

That means once you've invested in your light set, you are good to go for (very likely) a decade or so.

Lower Power Requirement:

Although most Christmas lights are pretty economical to run, they DO use electricity. If you have a large setup, you can expect your electricity bills to skyrocket. 

A huge advantage of LED light strings for Christmas decoration is the fact that they use a fraction of the energy that incandescent bulbs do. You might be shocked at how much money you can save. 

Downsides to LEDs?

Why Incandescent Bulbs Still Have Appeal

There are a lot of things arguing in the favour of LED light bulbs for Christmas decoration. So why do we still see standard lights in the stores anymore?

There are a few key things that make regular bulbs competitive still. 

Twinkle: LED lights can't quite mimic the genuine 'twinkle' of a regular light bulb. They often replicate this by rapidly dimming and brightening, but it's somehow not the same. If you're accustomed to incadescent style lights on your tree or home exterior, it might be an adjustment. 

Price Tag: The downside of the technology involved is that LED bulbs tend to be a lot more expensive than older technology. You'll pay a steeper initial cost to purchase them, and that can be a detractor for people on a budget. Obviously you'll save in the long run, but it's hard to justify that at the cash register. 

So Are LED Christmas Lights Better?

Ultimately, I think they have the upper hand, and technology seems to be moving in that direction. The luminousity and 'twinkle' quality is improving, and they're quite a bit more versatile than your standard string.

Old habits die hard, and traditions are important. I'm sure that many people were upset when we started moving away from having lit candles on the branches! I think we'll see light emitting diodes at Christmas more and more, and it's not a bad thing!

What do you think? Thanks for reading!



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