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By Samuel R. Avro on Dec 23, 2008 with no responses

Holiday Energy-Savers Buying LED Christmas Lights

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Buying a tree isn’t the only way for some to go green during the holiday season.

The energy-efficient LED lit Christmas tree in New York City's Rockefeller Center.

This holiday season is ushering in a new phenomenon of festive lighting – LED lights for decorations. Retailers across the country are reporting a high number of sales for the energy-efficient lights.

One of the largest lighting manufacturers, OSRAM Sylvania, reported that they doubled their LED sales since last year to between 15 million and 20 million LED units.

Led lighting can pay for itself within just 1 to 3 years, depending on who you ask.

LED lights, which have been available for years but have only recently became popular, use what’s called a semiconductor diode, which emits light when an electric current runs through it.

They work just like traditional lights, but use 90 percent less energy, produce less heat and last longer.

MillerCoors LLC, at their Milwaukee, WI, beer brewing headquarters, is using a 200,000-light LED display. The company says that it has reduced their holiday lighting costs by 60 percent.

“This is a tough year but we don’t intend to cancel the holidays,” Jones said. “This is a gift to our employees, a gift to the community, and even better, we’re using half the energy.”

Other famous trees across the nation have now gone green in lighting too. Both New York’s Rockefeller Center tree with 30,000 lights, and Washington’s National Christmas Tree with 37,000 lights have made the changeover to LED.

During a typical holiday season, the estimated energy costs of 600 lights on for six hours a day for about a month, incandescent bulbs will cost almost $65, compared with just over a dollar for LEDs.

But there are some faults which have kept potential buyers away.

LED lights tend to flicker more than traditional incandescent lights, and although barely ever noticeable, it has turned away some holiday lighting enthusiasts who want their lighting displays to be of the highest quality.

Even so, Amazon reports that 21 of their top 25 holiday-light sales are LED products.