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New Lights For The Holidays

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are coming of age for holiday lighting: they don’t get hot, they’re highly efficient, and one burned-out light doesn’t dim the whole string.

Here are the details:
• LEDs are now on par with traditional bulbs. Gone are the days when LED holiday lights were known for a harsh white light or stark colors that created a less-than-magical atmosphere. These days, LEDs come in warm, inviting colors in a variety of light beam patterns and dimming speeds, giving you lots of creative options for decorating.

• LEDs last longer than traditional lights. In fact, they have an operational life span of about 20,000 hours, enough to last for 40 holiday seasons. Also, the lights don’t have glass or filaments, which makes them durable and resistant to breaking. And because LED bulbs are so strong, one individual outage generally doesn’t darken the whole strand. For those enthusiastic decorators who like to blanket their entire house and yard in holiday lights, LEDs could save hours of painstaking work each year.

• LEDs use less energy, which means less strain on your first winter electric bill. Running LEDs on one 6-foot Christmas tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days can save 90 percent or more energy when compared to traditional incandescent lights.

• Because they use less energy, LEDs make it safer to connect multiple strands end-to-end without overloading the wall socket. Also, they’re cool to the touch, reducing the risk of fire.
Look for brands and manufacturers of ENERGY STAR-qualified LED decorative light strings at http://www.energystar.gov.

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