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Old 11-20-08, 07:42 PM   #1
bennelson
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Default LED X-Mas lights

I have had my X-mas lights up ever since I bought my house. They are sort of permanently installed, so why bother taking them down. Plus, they make fun party lights in the summer too!

But how much energy do all those lights use running all season?

I plugged in the good ol' Killawatt, to find out.

The traditional lights use 424 watts.



Last winter, my wife's employer (a large furniture retailer) had LED lights for sale as a promotional item. After the season, they were available for dirt-cheap - $2 a string. I had her check to see if they still had any left from last year. Yep, plenty of them, still at the same price.

I had her pick up 5 strings and I hung them up tonight. They only cover about half the length of the traditional incandecent lights. I will get some more later.
Here's what the LED lights look like. (These are the clear ones, colored were also available)



Any guess how many watts this took?

5.

That's it; 5 watts. Even when I double the length, that will be 10 watts as opposed to over 400!

Hows that from festive efficiency!?

And while you're at it, make sure your lights are on a timer! No sense having them on at 4 AM!

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Old 11-21-08, 06:56 AM   #2
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I was just thinking about this the other day. I was wondering how much power it took to light up the ol Christmas tree. Then I thought about LEDs... Anyway, thanks for the comparison. Thats an amazing difference!
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Old 11-21-08, 11:00 AM   #3
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Nice job Ben! That's what I have hanging from my roof...good ol LED's. I drive by people's homes who put up the ridiculous amount of lights and they're all the old kind and I just think...wow...they're dumb. Sorry to be harsh, but the reason I say they're dumb is twofold. 1) They're not using LED's so they're wasting power and money and 2) Home Depot (in my city anyway) will let you come in and trade your existing lights for brand new LED's at a fraction of the cost as long as you bring in your old string of lights. It blows my mind that more people aren't doing this. So they're either dumb...or lazy.

Daox, I was thinking the same thing about my christmas tree. I bought a tree with the lights pre-wired in right before LED's made their big debut. I wish there was a way I could remove the old bulbs and put in LED ones instead, but I don't think you can do that. Maybe you can? I had asked one of the stores recently if they had replacement bulbs for the LED's and they said they don't sell them...so that sucks if they don't. I'd replace every one of those lights if I could. I'm gonna kill-a-watt the tree as soon as I get it up to see how much energy we're wasting.

Speaking of christmas, I wonder if they have replacment LED's for the manger scene we have? Maybe I'll go steal Daox's LED lights from his fridge.
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Old 11-21-08, 12:17 PM   #4
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Wow, that's an enormous difference! They should pass some sort of ban on normal lights...
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Old 11-22-08, 11:40 AM   #5
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anyone thought of these?

Search for 'solar outdoor christmas lights' in Indoor Living - Bottomdollar.com - Shopping Comparison

since most people place their christmas tree in front of a window, seems like they would work well for the tree too. just place the panel in the window.
any thoughts?


UPDATE=== found these Solar christmas lights;

Solar Christmas/ Party String Lights

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Old 12-06-08, 02:10 AM   #6
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I just finished hanging my new LED Christmas lights last weekend. I put up 2 25foot strings and plugged them in with my Kill-a-watt ... 7 watts! My old icicle lights used 204 watts. I'm sending the old lights to the recycler (the copper wiring can probably be recovered).
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Old 12-06-08, 12:28 PM   #7
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Nice one Knowbodies.

I just plugged in my Christmas Tree and plugged it in....170W! For friggen tree lights. The SMALL ones. And what is even worse is that they are build into the tree. Does anyone have any suggestions of what I can do. I could wrap LED lights around the tree and not turn on the embedded lights, but then that would look weird. What I'd like is to replace the regular lights with LED ones, but I'm not sure if they sell them as replacement bulbs.

EDIT: Ok, I had a replacement LED for some halloween lights I had. Had to make some adjustments to the bulb, but it didn't work. It conducted the electricity through it so the other bulbs lit up, but it didn't light up itself. It did light up for a millisecond but then just went out. Any other suggestions? This may not be possible.

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Old 12-06-08, 03:43 PM   #8
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I'm pretty sure its not possible. LEDs run on DC electricity and usually low voltage. Hooking them up to household AC will probably burn them out.
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Old 12-07-08, 11:49 AM   #9
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Ya, I kinda figured. Why'd I have to go and buy a Christmas tree with lighting in it.
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Old 12-14-08, 06:14 PM   #10
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Well, I fail at LED Christmas lights. Sure, I reduced my Christmas lights to 7W of power draw, I even put it on a timer to save more power. But I didn't test the timer. My timer uses 5W 24/7. I'm better off unplugging it at night an plugging it back in at dusk. Even if I forget and leave it on all night, I've probably saved more energy than leaving it on a timer.

Some quick math:

Unplug in morning: 16hrs * 7W/hr = 112W
Unplug at night: 6hrs * 7W/hr = 42W
Leave on Timer: (24hrs * 5W/hr) + (6hrs * 7W/hr) = 162W

I are a dumbass. Timer has been removed.

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