LED Christmas Lights Offer Safer, Cheaper Alternative

christmastree120608.jpgI recently teamed up with The Home Depot to help provide expert advice to readers on a variety of household projects focused on saving money.  The format will be a post on a particular subject, and then a follow up post from experts at The Home Depot with answers to your questions left in the comments.  In this case, master trade electrician specialists are ready to answer your questions on holiday lighting issues.

Did you know that last year, The Home Depot alone sold more than 40,000 miles of light sets – enough to circle the globe 1.5 times – and the demand continues to rise.

Lighting consumes up to 34 percent of electricity in the United States, and with the addition of Christmas lights and décor, electricity costs will be even higher.  Here are some tips and quick facts, recommended by The Home Depot, to help lower your holiday lighting costs this season:

1.  Christmas lights made with light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are up to 80 percent more efficient than traditional incandescent lights.

2.  LED lights last up to 10 times longer than incandescent Christmas lights; LEDs burn for 20,000 hours, while incandescents burn for about 3,000 hours

3.  LEDs do not produce the level of heat that incandescents create, significantly decreasing the risk that your tree will catch on fire

4.  Trees lit with LED lights will last longer because the lights won’t dry out the tree

5.  The ability to connect up to 80 strands of LED lights requires fewer power outlets and eases the stress of decorating

6.  If you’re sticking with traditional lights, instead of switching to LED bulbs, switch from large bulbs to miniatures. They’re 70 percent more energy-efficient.

7.  Set the lights on a timer to turn them off when you go to bed. No need to burn your lights overnight when few people will see them.

This year, The Home Depot has introduced a variety of exclusive LED yard décor in its stores nationwide and has increased its energy-efficient and eco-friendly lighting selection by 50 percent for the holiday season.

For more information on energy-efficient products or projects for the holidays, please visit www.homedepot.com.

If you have questions about LED Christmas lights and decorations, or any other lighting issue, please feel free to leave your questions in the comments. 

photo courtesy of laff4k


  1. I am glad to see that better, energy efficient xmas lights are becoming more available. However, when will Home Depot do their part by using CFLs in their light displays? They still use regular incandescent light bulbs in their floor samples. When are they going to follow through and practice what they preach?

    To HD’s credit I did notice that they carried more energy efficient xmas trees than other retailers.

  2. We bought LED lights for the tree three years ago, and we still love them! They give such a nice bright light, and are easy on the electric bill. They are definitely worth the investment, which I think was less than $20. They are probably cheaper now. I see they are available at many stores.

  3. Please buyer beware. Do not be fooled about the money savings implied with these lights. They started to come out 2-3 years ago and you will find an avalanche of postings on google regarding led light failure b/c of rust. It is the typical problem of cheap components made in china. Water intrudes and the material they used for leads and contacts rusts. No more lights. No more $ savings if you have to replace them every year.

    Here is my review from Amazon regarding Philips LED lights purchased from Target:

    Here is my experience and review posted on Amazon. I’m trying to post this review everywhere I can find on Google to warn people away from this junk. These lights are a total and utter ripoff!

    In need of lights I started buying these lights 2 years ago. You either like the look or don’t. I do.
    Lo and Behold, this year (the third year), over half of my light strings did not work. After some investigation…many of the bulb filaments and sockets were RUSTED out! This makes replacing the bulb impossible. And if one bulb goes out, all the bulbs after it go out. Some advance in technology huh?

    Now that I have so much invested I have to go out and buy new strings. Now Target/Philips have me locked into a pretty good profit cycle now.
    I have to assume Philips did this on purpose. How can a light be outdoor use in rain and snow and be engineered to not rust. How in this day and age can you make lights that all go out after one burnt out bulb. It’s ludicrous to think they didn’t do this on purpose.

    To add insult to injury these bulbs cost 5 times what regular strings cost AND they tout the money saved in energy. What complete BS. I don’t save any money if I have to replace strings every year at 5 times the prices.
    I wish I could give these lights zero stars and had the energy to put this negative review on every Philips light set. What a bunch of cr*p!!!

    I bought one string set this year that had smooth globes. It looks like they engineered a fix by making the socket, light and globe one piece and wrapping tape around the bottom of the socket. Nice try. But get this. On these strings the bulbs are not replaceable. So if your 2.5 year old steps on one…oops…out to buy a new set. Nice try Philips. So lame…

  4. About LED Christmas lights: Last Jan. 2008 when the lights were on sale at Home Depot I purchased $230 of the lights for my sister who lives in Trinidad. She was very excited about this new concept, however to her dismay a whole set of ‘Home Holiday Accent” model # 489-309 stayed lite for about 1 hour and then failed. Do you have any idea why this would happen ? These lights are not cheap so it was very disappointing for us.
    Thanking you in advance.
    Peggy Watts
    Montreal Quebec

  5. We decided 2 years ago to invest the money ($500 )in all LED lights for the outside of the house. We put them up Thanksgiving weekend and take them down New Years, so they are outside about 1 month. Within a week, about 25% didn’t light or were only dimmley light. This year we replaced ones that didn’t work and spent another $200. We just took them down and more than half aren’t working. They just don’t seem to survive Chicago holidays. In the 20 years prior to this, we only had to replace 1 or 2 strings of lights a year, at a cost of about $20. Obviously, outdoor LED lights do not give the cost benefit that is advertised.

  6. I bought 3 strings of LED outdoor lights. They didn’t last one Canadian winter! I can’t replace the bulbs because they are fused to the socket. I can’t repair them so I have to throw them out. That’s not saving energy!

  7. We decided last year to redo the entire outside of our home with the “new and improved, cost effective, lasts longer” LED lights. Well they failed to last one year. We put them up Thanksgiving and there were many strands out by Christmas!!!Happy Holidays, HUH? It is a lot of money and a lot of work to put these lights up and they fail…what gives. I would expect more from Phillips Lighting and from our advances in technology.

    Broke with No Lights in Idaho

  8. Hi All and Merry Christmas,
    I purchased the 60 Round Blue LED strings and they have worked in ice and snow without fail, However they had become a little dim after I used them for several months after Christmas due to request of many. I had put them on a large cross to outline the cross. I have run into a problem though. Several of them have went out so I purchased new strings and pulled all the old LED’s and replaced them. Now none of them work and I will have to try trial and error again. Can someone suggest a method of knowing which bulb is giving trouble?
    Ronny Clark

  9. Philips LED christmas lights are a regretable purchase! Bought them last year on sale and all worked. Put on the tree this year and within a day two strings are already not working! Tried to replace fuses and bulbs to no avail. Waste of money, time and effort. Might as well have an entire landfill named for Philips. So much for helping the environment!

  10. We purchased a single 75′ string of outdoor LED’s last winter for about $80. They were taken down and stored for the summer. This year, about 40% of the lights failed after two weeks. Some savings.