Holiday Lighting Showdown: LED vs Incandescent

November 10, 2016
Dave Wyman

Will LED or Incandescent bulbs win this battle of holiday lighting?

When it comes to holiday lighting, you generally have two choices: LED (Light-Emitting Diode) bulbs and incandescent bulbs. Incandescent lights are the traditional electric light bulbs. They have wire filament that is heated to a high temperature, which then glows. LED lights, however, use a semiconductor to convert electricity into light—there is no heating to high temperatures with LED. Incandescent lights are still what most people think of when they think of holiday lighting, but LED is quickly gaining in popularity—and for good reason!

Energy Comparison

LED bulbs use much less energy than incandescent bulbs. Per a Consumer Reports comparison, LED bulbs use 80-85% less energy than incandescent bulbs. This means that–especially if you have an extensive lights display–you may see a substantial savings on your electric bill over the 30-60 day holiday lighting period. Besides the operating cost savings, this lower use of energy also means that you can safely connect many more strands of LED lights than incandescent lights. With LED lights, you do not run the risk of blowing a fuse or having the bulbs get too hot and catching the surroundings on fire. While you should never connect more than five incandescent light strands, it is safe to connect more than 20 LED light strands! However, be sure only to connect strands of the same wattage (100-bulb strands with other 100-bulb strands, for example).

Quality Comparison

holiday lighting, starburst

In the comparison of quality, LED bulbs seem to win again! LED bulbs claim to last 25,000-50,000 hours, whereas incandescent bulbs only claim to last 1,000-2,000 hours. In addition to the longer life, LED lights also have a lower breakage rate—and when they do break, only a small section of the lights goes dark. When incandescent bulbs break, the entire strand of lights is useless, unless you saved (and can locate) the replacement bulbs that came with the package. Incandescent lights do tend to give off a warmer, cozier light, but LED are becoming available in a variety colors, and warm LED lights are much more comparable to warm incandescent lights now than they were in years past. LED lights have one more advantage over incandescent lights: they shine brighter and illuminate surfaces more evenly.

Choice Comparison

In the comparison of choices, LED wins yet again. Incandescent has a limited selection of colors and styles that grows smaller as each year passes. LED, on the other hand, offers all of the same styles and colors as incandescent AND also adds many additional colors and styles that incandescent does not offer. In addition, LED as a whole continues to grow.

So which is better?

After comparing the energy usage and quality of lighting, it seems evident that LED lights are better! They offer the richest, brightest colors and allow your holiday light display to truly come alive. When you are able to plug more lights into a single outlet and save money when operating your lights, you do not need to restrict your lighting design and can let your imagination run free.

Schedule your Holiday Lighting appointment

Paradise Lawns is more than lawns…we also design and implement holiday lighting! You can read more about our holiday lighting services here, and remember our FREE consultations can get you the information you need to get started with a custom, unique holiday lighting design that will “wow” the neighbors! Ready to have your holiday lighting design implemented? Use our Contact Form or call Dave at 402-612-1527 to schedule your FREE holiday lighting consultation today!

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