12 Facts About LED Christmas Lights You Should Know

Have you thought about upgrading your home's holiday light display? Here are some tips and tricks you should know about LED Christmas lights.

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LED Lights Cost More Money Upfront

LED Christmas lights will cost you more money upfront because components are often assembled by hand. But you’ll save money in the long run on your Christmas lights electric bill since LED lights use 75% less energy than incandescents.

And because LED lights use less energy, you’ll reduce greenhouse gas emissions, giving the environment a little help along with your power bill. LED lights also last longer so you don’t have to replace a strand of them as often. And since they need conducting material to dissipate heat and dispense a natural white glow, they’re often coated with yellow phosphor.

Do you know these things about LED lights:

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Cool To the Touch

If you have children or pets and are concerned about safety around holiday decorations, LED lights are a good choice because they produce next to no heat. That means they’re always cool to the touch.

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Work Efficient in Cold Weather

When temperatures drop below freezing, incandescent lights can actually burst! But LED outdoor Christmas lights work just fine in cold temperatures. They actually burn more efficiently as the temperature drops.

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LED Lights Are Durable

LED Christmas lights receive high marks for durability. In tests, LED bulbs still worked after more than 4,000 hours. Standard light-string bulbs, however, burned out at a rate of one to two per strand in less than half that time. You can also use these LED lights in your bedroom permanently to create a nice inviting atmosphere that boosts relaxation.

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More Lights, Fewer Outlets

Typically, you can connect eight to ten times more mini LED light strings together end-to-end on one electrical outlet. With traditional Christmas mini lights, you can only connect four to five sets. LED strings let you run 40 to 50 together, depending on the light count.

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You Can Replace Single Bulbs

Just like classic incandescent Christmas lights, LED Christmas lights can fail, one light at a time or an entire string. And single replacement bulbs are available for many types of LED string light bulbs.

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Blue LED Christmas Lights Can Make You Sick

The blue light from LED Christmas lights, along with electronics like tablets, smartphones and laptops, can mess with your circadian rhythm and interfere with sleep. Over time, that can lead to obesity, diabetes and depression.

In the short term, some people feel nauseous and get headaches when exposed to blue LED Christmas lights, so you might not want to do an all-blue Christmas tree!

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Big Bulbs vs. Small Bulbs

While mini lights have been the most popular Christmas light decorations for the past ten years or so, those buky “old-fashioned” colored bulbs are making a comeback. The best part? The big bulbs are available as LEDs.

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Decorating Done Right

When decorating with LED Christmas lights outside, it’s best to string trees in the evening with the light strands plugged in so you can see the effect as you go. When lighting evergreen trees, use bigger bulbs; smaller bulbs look best on deciduous trees. Using a Christmas light tester is a smart way to check your old lights.

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Warm White or Cool White?

LED Christmas lights are available with warm white light or cool white light.

Warm white LED lights give off a soft glow compared to traditional lights and are a good choice indoors for Christmas trees. Cool white LED lights offer a more snow-white tone and are often used outdoors.

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How Long Do LED Lights Last?

LEDs last a lot longer than other lightbulbs. According to the Department of Energy, the average lifespan of LED bulbs is 30,000 to 50,000 hours. That’s enough for many, many Christmases before you need to change a bulb.

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Twinkly Smart Decorations 600 LED RGB 157.5 Foot Multicolor Led Indoor And Outdoor App Controlled Holiday String Lights

White, Red, Blue and Green LED Christmas Lights

Since LEDs come in a variety of colors, you can have fun with less traditional color schemes. Whether it’s a winter wonderland scene or a “spooky Christmas,” your lights are sure to impress. Although, if you have a red-tipped bulb amongst your lights, it’s not for a less traditional color scheme but for a specific reason.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham spent years working in newsrooms, for television and newspapers, and has won several awards for her writing. In 2015, she left her full-time job as a newspaper editor to focus on freelance writing and editing. She has been a Family Handyman contributor since 2017.
In 2019, Rachel lived through a major remodeling project on her home, and she uses that experience to inform her Family Handyman content. She's also an avid gardener (both native plants and vegetables), enjoys keeping up with decor trends and spends a lot of time traveling, cooking and hanging out with her family and their giant dog.