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Are LED Christmas lights better?

Incandescent lights have many advantages over candles – not the least of which is the radical

Incandescent lights are easier to use than candles, offer more decorative options in color and style, and lend themselves to outdoor displays. As a result, incandescent lamps have replaced candles as the new source of decorative Christmas lighting.

LED lights have exploded in popularity

LED technology has only entered the LED Christmas lighting arena in the past ten years and is overgrowing. This latest generation of LED technology has finally dethroned the incandescent lamp. LEDs are radically different from Edison’s incandescent lamps. Incandescent lamps produce light using an electric current to pass through a filament and make it glow, while LEDs produce light by using electricity to excite a light-emitting diode.

They are very different technologies. And LEDs provide almost as much benefit as incandescent lamps provide for candles.

How do incandescent lamps work?

Close-up of a multi-colored incandescent lamp in the dark

Incandescent lamps work interestingly. The small wires located under the filament are called shunts. The shunts have a special coating that allows them able to work as an insulator. With the filament intact, no electricity can pass through the shunt. The filament gets all the electricity and produces light.

When the filament receives electricity, it gets very hot, which makes it bright. This is what makes your holiday lights glow. However, over time, the filament can burn out.

Without the filament, there would be no light in the bulb. The current makes the shunt very hot and melts the coating on the outside. When this happens, the wire underneath conducts the electricity to the next bulb. Therefore, you can have one light go out, but the other lights on the string will still work.

How do LED Christmas lights work?

While incandescent lights are simple to work with, LED lights are more complex. If you don’t have a degree in physics, you may have a hard time understanding how these bulbs work. LED lights rely on a diode. In a diode, there are two semiconductor materials. As current passes through the wire, electrons move from the negative semiconductor to the positive terminal. The electrons collide with the electron-hole, causing them to release energy. The energy release then shows up as light.

If an LED fails, there is no shunt. The entire string of lights continues to work. A failed bulb shorts out, creating a path of less resistance. The current can pass through the dead LED and into the rest of the bulb.

What are the disadvantages of LED Christmas lights?

There is only one drawback to using LED lights. When comparing LEDs to incandescent lights, it’s easy to see that LEDs cost more. If you want to change all of your lights to LED lights, you will find that the change is expensive.

While the upfront cost is high, LEDs’ energy efficiency and durability make them more affordable in the long run.

Difference between LED and incandescent lights?

When buying Christmas lights, it’s often overwhelming because there are so many choices. While you may spend all your time focusing on finding the best-looking lights, you need to consider other features as well. Are the lights energy efficient? Are they bright enough? The difference between LEDs and incandescent lights explains these features.

LED Christmas lights use less electricity

One of the main differences between LEDs and incandescent lights is energy use. LED bulbs are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. In an incandescent bulb, the filament uses a lot of energy to keep it light. LED bulbs use a diode that requires a minimum amount of energy.

LED bulbs use more than 75 percent less energy than other alternatives. By using only LED Christmas lights, you can save money on your energy bill.

Think about all the power you use during the holiday season. All holiday inflatables, outdoor lights, and indoor lights add up to your energy bill. In addition, the cold weather that comes with Christmas each year means higher heating bills. If you don’t want to have astronomical energy bills, you can switch to LED lights.


LED bulbs have a lifespan of about 50,000 hours, compared to about 1,000 hours for standard bulbs. From a durability standpoint, this means that you get 50 times more use out of a string of LED lights than you do out of a series of regular lamps. So while LED lights cost more to buy than incandescent bulbs, but you’ll save on energy costs.

Compared to standard bulbs, LED bulbs are less likely to short out or burst, so you’ll spend less time replacing them.

In addition, many of the new LED lights make with thin copper wire rather than insulated wire. This wire is easy to tangle together and embedded in the line of small lights that can not be replaced if broken. Regular lights have heavier insulated wires that last longer and can be replaced with larger bulbs if necessary.

Energy efficiency

Compare with incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs to use less energy, which makes them a more energy-efficient option. That’s because, because of the way they use light-emitting diodes instead of filaments, they produce almost no heat when turned on. It means that more electricity is used to make light, rather than being wasted on heat.

The fact that incandescent or regular lamps are being phased out altogether due to their inefficiency makes them much harder to find. Incandescent bulbs produce greenhouse gases that can have a more significant impact on the environment, potentially leading to problems such as climate change. Compared to incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs to emit fewer greenhouse gases, making them more efficient and environmentally friendly.

LED bulbs require fewer watts to operate, so you’ll use less electricity to power the same number of lights compared to a standard string of lights. It can save you up to 80% on your electricity bill this season compared to regular Christmas lights. It is a benefit for those who like to create large displays.


If both types of lights use the same insulated wire, then the installation will be comparable. However, many LED lights connect with copper wire. This wire is more challenging to install than wire because it is thinner and more prone to knots. LED strings are usually shorter than regular strings, which means you need more extension cords and lines to hang together to complete the installation, which means more work to install the lights.


Since LEDs have fewer lights per string, you may need more lines of lights to complete the installation. It will help increase the overall cost of LED lights vs. regular lights. Need more extension cords and anchors because of the more significant number of strings of lights required.

The cost is about $10-$30 per string of lights. Most people need about 10 to 15 strands per job for a total of $100 to $450 for lighting. Additional costs required for installation, such as extension cords and stakes, can range from $30 to $100, and installation costs can range from $100 to $450, depending on the additional charges added. The total price of bulbs, installation, and extras can range from $230 to $1,000.

The cost of ordinary Christmas lights ranges from $3 to $12 per string. Longer strings of lights mean that only 8 to 10 lines do the same job, with the total price of lighting ranging from $24 to $120. Like stakes and extension cords, extras will range from $30 to $100, while installation costs around $100 to $450. In total, the project will run between $154 and $670.

Even though the overall project cost of regular Christmas lights is lower than LEDs, you must remember that LEDs are more energy-efficient. It means they will use less electricity overall, and they don’t have the risk of burning out over time, so they don’t need to be replaced. So even though the initial cost may be higher, LED lights can provide long-term savings.


As technology continues to evolve, LED lighting is as bright or brighter than standard light bulbs. In addition, LED Christmas lights are more colorful than traditional string light bulbs and emit various colors of light.

The key is to look at the size of the lights. The LEDs on the copper wire are much smaller, so while the brightness is comparable, the lights will not be as noticeable as standard Christmas lights. However, it may be a personal choice as to how you wish to see these bulbs.

Unlike LEDs, Standard lights used to have a lot of color options. But now, LEDs have a lot of options as well. You can buy these lights in various colors and types, and it’s worth noting that LED lights are made with plastic bulbs, not glass, which makes them less likely to break as well.


LED lights remain cool even after working for hours. In contrast, traditional Christmas lights can be hot to the touch after being lit for a few hours. It can lead to a risk of house fires, so the bulbs need to be unplugged when left unattended or after a few hours have passed. LED lighting offers a safer, more flexible option for Christmas lights for those concerned about this risk.


LED lights are a better choice when it comes to maintenance. They are made with plastic bulbs rather than glass, so the bulbs are much less likely to shatter, and they don’t need to be handled as carefully as standard glass Christmas lights.

Also, since LED bulbs never burn out, you don’t need to worry about replacing them or messing with fuses. The one thing to do is plug them in and enjoy the lights.

So, why are LEDs better?

With all that said, why are LEDs better? As mentioned above, the lifespan is more than 60 times longer than incandescent lamps, with a rated life of over 200,000 hours. They use 80-90% less energy and emit 90% less CO2. They last longer, so less waste goes into landfills.

Another benefit – LED Christmas lights no longer just come in the form of strings of lights. Mesh lights are great for bushes and small trees, pulling them out like a large net directly over a small tree. Trunk wraps can be purchased which go around your large tree trunk, and we don’t have to circle the tree while feeling dizzy. Rope lights are great for running along windowsills, and icicle lights can create a magical effect when hung under the eaves.

Light bulbs can also come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Mini lights come in 5mm sizes (tiny), M5’s are similar in size to incandescent mini lights, and G12’s are round. If the mini-lamp is too small, you can purchase bulbs in C6, C7, and C9 (from smallest to largest). You can also buy strings of up to 500 bulbs in varying widths.

However, due to the different quality of components used in professional-grade string lights versus consumer-grade strings, professional-grade strings are the best choice for a more stable product. As the adage goes, you get what you pay for, so the upfront cost will be more expensive

Just as incandescent lamps replaced candles about a century ago, LEDs are gradually but surely replacing incandescent lights. It’s a natural progression – advanced technology replacing older, less advanced technology. It happens regularly with most of the products we use every day, such as computers, cell phones, TVs, etc.

So, in a sense, it’s rather odd that incandescent technology has ruled for more than 100 years. But that reign is indisputably drawing to a close.

LED Strip for Christmas DIY

Beginner’s Guide to Christmas Lights – and LED Shows for Every Holiday

Something needs to note.

Safety first – check Christmas lights before use.
In this day and age, fewer and fewer real candles are being placed on the Christmas tree, but the issue should still not be pushed into the background. Especially if the house is decorated with many fairy lights, it is vital to consider the following points beforehand:

Check fairy lights for defects and replace broken lights.

Do not repair damage to the cable with insulating tape; it is better to buy a new one.

Use Christmas lights only for the recommended area of use, do not install indoor lights in the garden.

You can recognize chains of lights suitable for outdoor use by the markings IP 44, IP 54, and IP 64 or by a square or triangular symbol with drop’s buy-only certificate approval.

LED lights withstand lower temperatures better have an FI switch retrofitted by a specialist if this is not available
always be at home when lights are on.

Install smoke detectors indoors

Have fire extinguishers ready in case of emergency

LED strip installation


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