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Thread: LED and solar powered Christmas lights

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  1. #1
    Member 919191's Avatar
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    LED and solar powered Christmas lights

    I am considering buying rither LED or solar powered exterior Christmas lights this year. Anyone have any experience with them?
    I've been to dinner at Jimmy Buffet's house, and I've eaten it at a homeless shelter. And there's great joy and harrowing terror to be found in both places.
    -Todd Snider

  2. #2
    Member FIRELEFT's Avatar
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    Re: LED and solar powered Christmas lights

    Used LED's last year and really liked them.
    "Pitching is the art of instilling fear."
    Sandy Koufax

  3. #3
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    Re: LED and solar powered Christmas lights

    Quote Originally Posted by FIRELEFT View Post
    Used LED's last year and really liked them.
    Yeah, brighter colors, less energy, don't get hot. They are a good way to go.

  4. #4
    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: LED and solar powered Christmas lights

    ...except for the initial cost.

    If you're considering them, you've likely seen the prices. A box of 60 LEDs runs $10, so it would run $100 just to light up a typical tree. The same number of traditional lights runs about $10-$12 for the entire tree of 600 lights. If saving money by using less energy is an incentive, it really shouldn't be, because the lights will probably be retired before they can pay for themselves.

    I read some of the claims on the boxes and they were misleading. The box/brand I looked at compared a set with tiny LED bulbs to those very large traditional bulbs (I think they were called C9), which was obviously an unfair comparison. I suspect a comparison of bulbs of similar sizes would not have yielded nearly as extraordinary a claim of energy savings. Yet many people will see the claim on the box without scrutinizing it and assume the LEDs will pay for themselves the first season.

    The LED lights are more durable and look really nice, especially the larger ones. However, we checked them out last weekend, and at 10-12 feet away, I couldn't tell the difference between the small LEDs and the small traditional lights. This was especially true with the clear ones. The large multi-colored lights really stood out, though.

    We finally settled on a pre-lit tree that had the traditional lights on it. Just couldn't bring myself to agreeing to pay the $100 premium for the LEDs. Surely their price will come down, though, so eventually they'll be the only thing available, and rightfully so.

  5. #5
    On the brink of disaster acredsfan's Avatar
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    Re: LED and solar powered Christmas lights

    The whole point in the LED lights is they last longer and save energy. They also are safer because of not getting hotter. The brand of LED lights can also make a big difference. The white on the better brands are much brighter and have a very different color to them, much more of a true white than the yellowish of regular lights. I love the blue also. In led lights, the white blue and green will be much brighter than the other colors. The C6 lights are great for the outdoors. They also don't go out if one bulb is missing or broken or burnt out. Overall, if you can afford to fork over the extra money now, they are well worth the investment. We've gotten ours over time and now have quite a few sets.
    "I thought I'd get your theories, mock them, then embrace my own. The usual." -- House

    "You guys are still thinking like doctors when you should be thinking like plumbers. Come on, I wanna see some butt crack." -- House

  6. #6
    Member FIRELEFT's Avatar
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    Re: LED and solar powered Christmas lights

    We got ours the old fashion way.
    The wife told be to get them.
    "Pitching is the art of instilling fear."
    Sandy Koufax

  7. #7
    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Re: LED and solar powered Christmas lights

    Consumer Reports did a comparison in this month's magazine.

    Generally they found that initially the LEDs cost more - both because the strands are shorter and they are more expensive per strand.

    But they replacement costs are almost non-existant, and they use significantly less power than the Incandesents. They also are huge dropoff in fire risk, as they put out significantly less heat. But they did find the Incandesents were brighter.

    I switched last year to all Phillips LEDs and was happy with the results.


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