Editorial Feature

Should We All be Using LED Christmas Lights this Xmas?

Lightings plays a major role in bringing in joy during festive season. During Christmas, people leave lights on all day which results in wastage of energy whereby causing light pollution. Though lightings appear classy, they consume a large amount of energy and are a huge waste of resources. The US Department of Energy states that more than 6 TWh per year of energy is wasted due to holiday lighting, which is equivalent to the total monthly energy consumption of nearly 500,000 homes. The energy used for holiday lighting products is obtained from burning natural gas, oil and coal. As a result, unwanted byproducts are produced, which would cause carbon dioxide emissions, acid rain and excess smoke.

Incandescent Christmas lights used for decoration purposes consume more energy. Regular Christmas lights are also hazardous to human beings and environment. CNN reports on the environmental hazards of Christmas lighting affirms that high lead content in these bulbs would pose a serious risk for children. In addition, GoCompare, a price comparison site, conducted a survey on holiday lightings and reported that the use of 100 5W bulbs for 6h a day during festive season will consume around 207 kWh of energy equivalent to an average total consumption of energy by British householders for 22.8 days.

There are many eco-friendly alternatives to regular Christmas lights, which help make the festivities environment friendly.

LED Xmas Lighting

American organization, Environmental Defense Fund has suggested the use of energy-saving LED decorative lighting for both outdoor and indoor display in order to lower the electricity costs. LED Christmas lights require only 10% of the energy consumed by regular incandescent lights. Also, LEDs can last 10 times longer than incandescent lights and have an operating life of over 20,000 h. For instance, LED Christmas lights used on the Champs Elysees, Paris consume very less energy of about 31,000 kWh during the holiday season when compared to 480,000 kWh energy consumed by incandescent lights.

Moreover, LED lights are cooler and reduce fire risk. Even though LED bulbs are expensive, their low power consumption will certainly reduce the electricity expenses during Christmas. Similarly, solar Christmas lights are also a great alternative to conventional lighting for saving energy.

Summary

According to the Energy Saving Trust, the carbon dioxide produced by Christmas lightings can be used for filling around 15,500 hot air balloons. However, most of the countries are now making an effort to go green this festive season by adopting LED lights in order to reduce the carbon footprint of Xmas. As discussed above LED lightings have a lot of benefits such as low power consumption, long life, and less heat generation.

Apart from taking measures like switching off unwanted lights, heating only occupied rooms and regulating the thermostat, people can make use of energy- saving LED Christmas lights to reduce their electricity bills and environmental impact of the festive season.

Sources

Kris Walker

Written by

Kris Walker

Kris has a BA(hons) in Media & Performance from the University of Salford. Aside from overseeing the editorial and video teams, Kris can be found in far flung corners of the world capturing the story behind the science on behalf of our clients. Outside of work, Kris is finally seeing a return on 25 years of hurt supporting Manchester City.

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