Happy December! By now the leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner are distant memories, and many of you are busy decorating your home for Christmas. As your expert in electrical service needs and energy efficiency, we would like to share a bit of holiday lighting information with you.
Whether you are a homeowner or a business owner, Branham Electric wants to help you save this season. With this in mind, we examine the benefits of LED lighting over traditional incandescent holiday lights.
- They’re so cool. LED lights are cool to the touch. On the other hand, incandescent bulbs get warm over time. Hot bulbs against a real tree or wrapping paper can become a fire hazard. Small children, prone to touch everything in sight, are safer with cool LED lights.
- They’re so bright. LED bulbs are well known for vibrant, bold colors. This means you can light up the night with fewer bulbs.
- But there are options. When LEDs first arrived on the scene, some complained that their vibrancy was too intense. Now there are many more options, and folks that once disliked the intensity of LEDs will find that there are bulbs with a warmer, more inviting glow. There are even dimmable choices.
- They last longer. LEDs typically last over 50,000 hours on average. Incandescent lights average about 3000 hours.
- Less power (outlets). Stringing together too many strands of lights per outlet is a big Branham No NO! Most household outlets have a capacity of 15 to 20 Amps. Circuits should be limited to 80% of wattage capacity. Overloading increases the risk of tripping breakers, damaging lights or systems, or even causing a fire or electrocution. Always check package instructions to determine how many watts your lights use. However, you can usually string about 4 strands of incandescent bulbs together. Some LED sets can be strung together up to 80 times.
- Energy savings. When you save energy, you save money. This is where LEDs really pay off! LEDs use 80 to 90% less energy. A typical house with a modest lighting display would spend nearly $11 on electricity with incandescent bulbs, or less than $2 with LEDs. Of course, the bigger the display the more dramatic the savings, so business owners should really be aware of this benefit.
One more note: We simply cannot give advice on holiday lighting without mentioning a few safety rules. Make certain that you inspect your lighting before use, looking for damage to bulbs, wiring, or plugs. Do not use staples or nails for hanging lights. Use lights according to package instructions. Indoor lights don’t belong outdoors, and vice versa.
Branham Electric wishes you a happy holiday season! We hope that you consider our tips as you decorate. However, we’d also like to save you money year ‘round. If your business is interested in saving on energy costs, contact us!