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LED Christmas Lights vs. Incandescent Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights: LED vs. Incandescent

Before purchasing new holiday lights, use the information below to learn more about the different options available. The information will serve as a guide to help you make an informed decision.

LED Lights


- Last longer than traditional lights
- Very low wattage (use 80-90% less energy}
- Much lower operating cost
- Difficult to overload circuit
- Can easily connect many strings of lights
- Durable
- Typically generate less heat
- Color won’t fade


- Much more expensive than incandescent lights
- Typically have less bulbs per string
- Squirrels may try to eat them
- Older LED lights are not as bright
- May be harder to find in stores
- More difficult to repair

The Whole Story: LED (or light-emitting diode) lights may seem like the obvious choice. They are more energy efficient and much cheaper to operate than traditional, incandescent lights. Due to their low wattages, electrical overloads are unlikely and many strings of lights can easily be connected. Additionally, LED lights generally produce less heat so they are less of a fire hazard. They also tend to last longer, as they are very durable and the colors will not fade. However, all of this comes at a cost. LED lights can cost 5-10 times more expensive than incandescent lights.

Incandescent Lights


- Low initial investment
- Widely available (found in many stores)
- More individual lights per strand
- Easy to purchase replacement bulbs


- Bulbs need to be replace more frequently
- Shorter lifespan
- Color may fade over time
- Use more energy than LED lights
- More fragile than LED lights

The Whole Story: Incandescent lights are the traditional choice. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase and they can be found virtually anywhere. However, they use much more electricity than LED lights, which can lead to high electric bills and overloaded circuits. Setting lights on a timer can be an easy solution to this problem. For colored incandescent lights, the bulbs are painted to act as a filter to produce color. Unlike LED lights, this color may fade over time and become less vibrant. However, if the proper precautions are taken, incandescent lights can be a very cost-effective and practical choice.

Related: Christmas Light Installation Costs

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ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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