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LED lights save money without losing festiveness

December 20, 2008|By LEIF E. GREEN

There are many gorgeous lighting displays up around the area this time of year.

One tradition my family started several years ago was to go out Christmas Eve and try to find the prettiest and best displays. Now that our twins fly in from Colorado on Christmas Eve, that tradition has been delayed until the day after Christmas.

I wonder how many houses use LED (light-emitting diodes) lights on their displays? According to my Sierra Club Insider e-mail (at www.sierraclub.org/holidays), electricity usage goes up 27 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. LED lights are a cheaper, "greener" alternative. If LED lights are used, homeowners would use 90 percent less electricity. Also, the lights don't get hot to the touch, and last 10 to 20 years. Who wouldn't love them?

I bought LED lights for my new snowman/snowflake theme Christmas tree. "Cool" blue ones. Remember my column about not buying wrapping paper on sale any more after Christmas? Well, I have to buy something on sale, so I plan to buy more LED lights this year. They are a little more expensive than the mini-lights, but with all the advantages (remember, they last 10 to 20 years) the LEDs will pay for themselves soon.

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I've already seen them on sale at Kmart and they come in a variety of styles. By next year, I plan to replace all my strings of lights around the house and in my windows. I hope everyone gets wise to the idea.

Check out the Sierra Club website for more eco-friendly ideas for the holiday season.

Leif E. Green is the nom de plume of a columnist writing on behalf of the Boonsboro Recycling Task Force. Today's columnist is Kathy Vesely.

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