(NewsUSA) — Whether yours twinkle in multiple colors or sparkle in all white, holiday lights are a must-use element in nearly all homeowners’ seasonal decorating schemes. And those lights — once reserved for the tree — have migrated to multiple spots both inside and outside the home.

In addition to a longer life, LED holiday lights can make an instant impact for everyone by decreasing utility bills and providing a safer light source. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the U.S. uses 2.22 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year to power miniature holiday lights — or enough electricity for 1,300 homes for a year.

According to the Department of Energy, LED holiday lights have an estimated lifespan of 40 holiday seasons and are more resistant to breakage — thanks to epoxy lenses — than incandescent versions. But the real impact comes from the cost of electricity. Here’s how the different light sources affect consumption and expenses:

* Electricity cost for a 6-foot tree, 12 hours a day for 40 days:

Incandescent C-9 lights — $10.00

LED C-9 lights — $0.27


Incandescent Mini-lights — $2.74

LED Mini-lights — $0.82

(statistics from the DOE)

* Estimated cost of buying and operating lights for 10 holiday seasons:

Incandescent C-9 lights — $122.19

LED C-9 lights — $17.99


Incandescent Mini-lights — $55.62

LED Mini-lights — $33.29

Available options for LED holiday lights include:

* Miniature, small and directional: These are classic holiday lights with brilliant illumination and direct lighting.

* C5, C7, C8, C9: These bulb-like (also called “strawberry”) LED holiday lights come in a variety of sizes.

* G12: Often referred to as “raspberry lights,” these LED holiday strings are round and come in either multi-colored or white versions.

* Net and icicle: These LED holiday lights have surged in popularity in recent years. They’re often used to cover shrubs or dangle from eaves.

* Battery operated: Many LED holiday lights come in battery-operated versions to simulate candles or other flickering sources.

TIP: Check the LED holiday light box for the Energy-Star label. You can find Energy-Star lights at a local ALA-member lighting retailer.

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