Save money and energy this Christmas: hang LED lights instead

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PHOENIX - "So when it came time to decorate for Christmas, we just felt strange putting up all those lights and using up all that energy," said Valley resident Kat George.

George's commitment to live a green lifestyle had her trade in her standard holiday lights for LED ones.

"I really like it and there is really no difference in the brightness of the lights," George said.

"We just went out and did a little shopping expedition and found the LED lights. A strand that is very similar to the strand of the standard incandescent lights that we have is only about a dollar extra," said Tom Hines, APS program manager for Energy Efficiency. " So somewhere in the neighborhood of nine dollars compared to seven or eight dollars."

Hines believes there's quite a few benefits to switching over to LED holiday lights.

"Not only [are there] energy savings with the LED lights, the box that we bought says they last 20 years," Hines said. "They literally have a life span of typically 25,000 to 50,000 hours."< /p>

"They are a lot cooler and so their less likely to ignite, less likely to cause any type of fire, less likely to have an electrical problem because they draw so little current," he continued.

To see how little current the LED lights draw compared to the standard lights Hines put a strand of each of them to the test with a watt meter.

The standard lights came in at 128 watts and the LED's read in at zero.

"So that is a really glaring example of what a difference that makes on your energy bills when I run these," Hines said.

He said another great way to see how much money you could potentially save by using these lights is by checking out APS's new interactive online calculator.

"Let's say I have five strands for 100 lights per strand of the traditional holiday lights," Hines said. "I run those for five hours a day. It's going to cost me about 40 dollars to run those lights. The same LED lights five strands, five hours, forty cents. So which one would you rather have 40 dollars or 40 cents?"

As for George after plugging in her numbers she said she could save seven dollars a month in energy costs.

"It will save you money. It will save energy and save the environment," George said.

George works for a company called emaginegreen. They provide tools to inspire you to make ecoFriendly choices for your lifestyle and family. For more information, please visit the website at

If you want more information on LED lights, please visit