lights can be a great gift to the holiday decorator.
Even though they cost more than other types, they last
longer, produce far less heat and use less energy.
letters stand for "light-emitting diode" (but
if you’re like some of my neighbors, they might more
appropriately stand for "love elaborate
displays.") Unlike incandescent bulbs, LEDs are
solid-state. There’s no filament that heats up with
wasteful thermal radiation. Instead, light is released
when electrical current excites electrons in the diode.
in time for the peak decorating season, here’s a
stocking full of tidbits about LED lights, compiled by
our researchers and based on interviews with highly
rated lighting and electrical experts and other sources:
to spend about four times more for a string of LED
lights than for traditional bulbs. However, according to
the U.S. Department of Energy, a typical strand of
incandescent lights may last three years, while a
comparable strand of LEDs can last 20 years or more.
LED bulb generally consumes 75 percent less energy than
its incandescent counterpart.
can connect up to 25 strands of lights end-to-end and
not worry that you’ll blow a fuse.
matters: Earlier versions of holiday light bulbs began
with what are known as C6 bulbs, where the C stands for
"cone-shaped" and the 6 refers to the diameter
of the bulb in eighths of an inch. Modern versions of
the C6 are strawberry-shaped bulbs often used indoors or
draped around doorways. C7 and C9 bulbs are commonly
hung along rooflines or to wrap around trees.
LED holiday bulb types include the globe-shaped G
series, or T, which are small tubes. Mini-tube LEDs are
recommended for indoor Christmas trees.
types of LED lights that can make your holiday bright
include rope lights, which are encased in flexible
plastic tubing, and net lighting, which can be draped
over a bush or tree, avoiding the usual tangled mess.
of LED holiday lights are as varied as their
incandescent counterparts. Newer versions can match the
warm, candle-like hues of incandescents.
matter what kind of bulbs you invest in for holiday
decorating, keep in mind that if you would rather not
get up on a ladder and hang strand after strand, there
are service providers who do that kind of work.
of professionals who can help with holiday decorating
include landscapers, interior decorators, roofers and
window washers. A job can range from lighting a single
tree to stringing lights across the whole house.
cost for professional holiday decorating help can vary
widely, but most experts say to expect to pay from $800
to $1,500 the first year.
you may find experts who have time to fit your
decorating job in for this season, you’ll guarantee an
even more relaxed holiday next year if you contact them
months ahead of time. Or, if you find it fun to
decorate, you might consider hiring help with the more
onerous task of taking everything down and storing it