20 - 2007

Eco-quandary: LED Christmas lights vs. getting rid of perfectly good lights

LED Lights

Well, not too much of a quandary here. We bought new LED lights last night for our Christmas tree. By various accounts, they save 80% to 98% of the energy used by conventional holiday lights. Guilt-free festivities, at last — now pass the sour cream dip.


Our biggest challenge was that first we bought four packs of 50 lights for $10 each at Lowe’s … then went to Costco, where they had boxes of 100 lights for $11 each. Back we went to Lowe’s (after an elegant dinner out in the Costco food court) to return their lights.


I hate to throw out the good lights. Instead, I will first ask the two families we are sponsoring this Christmas (a group we participate in cooperates to sponsor families’ holidays through Family Tree, a local nonprofit organization) if they could use the lights. If not, Freecycle, here they come!


Our goal is to save energy at our house … while preventing someone from buying new conventional lights.


One thing about our trip to Lowe’s, though — nearly everyone leaving the store had some kind of efficient lighting in their cart. Sea change!

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