Ask Eartha: The Holiday Hero; LED Lights |

Ask Eartha: The Holiday Hero; LED Lights

Eartha Steward
Special to the Daily/GEGE's LED Color Effects outdoor, color-changing icicles are energy-efficient and produce eye-catching results.

Should I switch over to LED Christmas lighting this holiday season? Do they really save you money?

Derek, Breckenridge

Incandescent might give you a warm n’ fuzzy feeling, but the cold hard truth is that feeling comes at a price. Incandescent bulbs have a tiny filament that produces light as well as heat, which makes them expensive, electricity-sucking buggers. Most holiday lights are made up of mini incandescent bulbs, and it should come as no surprise that they’re inefficient and expensive.

Before you go off and cancel Christmas, consider replacing your incandescent lights with our holiday hero – LED light strings. LED (light-emitting diode) lights are 85 percent more efficient than their distant cousin, the incandescent enemy. Hark, a ray of light at the end of the tunnel!

For one season of use, one string of incandescent bulbs operated for 9 hours a day for 40 days will cost just over $8 in electricity. Whereas LED lights cost just over $1 in electricity during same amount of use. LED lights also last longer and pose less of a fire hazard because they don’t emit as much heat. While they cost more up front, they’ll pay themselves off in under two years of use.

You can bring your old, broken or used incandescent light strings to your BigHorn or Leadville True Value hardware stores for recycling, and receive $3 off a single receipt in-store purchase of LED Christmas lights! (limit five discounts per customer). This is a great deal, and good incentive to start this holiday season with a cleaner and more efficient energy upgrade.

High Country Conservation Center applauds True Value’s efforts to help recycle obsolete incandescent light strings along with CFL’s, while saving us money in the process. Thanks again, True Value, for shining some light on responsible recycling and energy efficiency during the holiday season!

Eartha Steward is written by Jennifer Santry and Erin Makowsky, consultants on all things eco and chic at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation in our mountain community. Eartha believes that you can walk gently on our planet, even if you’re wearing stylish shoes. Submit questions to Eartha at or to High Country Conservation Center, PO Box 4506, Frisco, CO 80443.

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