Christmas is (almost) Here. Time to Talk about LED Lights (and Nobel Prizes)

While the City of Kansas City is currently in the throngs of playoff fever, the cool gray day is an indication that the holiday season will soon be upon us.

XmastreeKansas Citians are very fond of their holiday decorations – especially their lights. The Country Club Plaza Holiday Lights are the biggest draw, but Crown Center, Brookside and Zona Rosa also have impressive displays.

Residents and businesses often join in the festivities and put up their own lights. With that mind, why not make a small investment and install LED lights? They save money (which will make the Scrooge in you happy) and they are good for the environment.

LED lights have gotten a lot of press recently, with the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physics to Isamu Akasaki, Shuji Nakamura and Hiroshi Amano for their invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes (that’s what LED stands for). LED technology has already had a great effect of on the US economy. As noted by Noah Horowitz’s NRDC blog, the US is on track to cut its electricity bill by more than $13 billion annually because of the switch to LED lights. That number will only grow as more Americans adopt the technology in their homes and business.

Clearly, LED lights are smart investment, and holiday lights are no exception. According to the website energy.gov, LED holiday lights can provide significant savings. For example, lighting a six-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days will cost $10.00 utilizing traditional incandescent bulbs, while it will only cost 27 cents for LED C-9 lights. In fact, over 10 years, that savings is even more substantial – incandescent bulbs for that tree will cost $122, while the LED C-9 lights will only cost $18. Think of how many lights are strung in Kansas City each year and you get an idea of how significant the savings could be.

So, for now, enjoy the Royals run and make the most of Halloween.  But it’s not too early start thinking about how you can have a demonstrable effect on the environment and your pocket book by choosing energy efficient LED lights for your holiday display.

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One thought on “Christmas is (almost) Here. Time to Talk about LED Lights (and Nobel Prizes)

  1. LED Christmas lights will NEVER look like traditional incandescent Christmas lights. They will never have the same glow, the same warm white light, the same type and warm hues of colored light, and will always by their very construction be uni-directional. WHY bother to even put up lights once a year that are an aesthetic abomination? That still flicker noticeably? That still cost more and are cheaply made? The Country Club Plaza Lights will NEVER be the same now that they are converting to LED’s. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in NYC looks NOTHING like it did when lit with real bulbs. The colors on LED bulbs are either too dark and dim or too bright and garish. Most “white” LED lights still look like miniature car headlights. There is no in-between. One can spot the difference between the two literally a mile away. I mourn the end of Christmas as I grew up with it, and I blame a mis-guided and clueless bandwagon of support for anything that purports to save money for ruining a once-a-year tradition of beauty and celebration in the name of mindless consumerism. I will NEVER have LED Christmas lights in or on my house, and will continue to rage, obviously fruitlessly, against their relentless assault on the tradition of Christmas.

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