One of those old holiday traditions is best left behind

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Memories come flooding back as we unpack the Christmas decorations each year — a couple’s first holiday together, baby’s first Christmas, gaudy Kindergarten creations too precious to discard.

It’s also tempting to pull Grandma’s antique colored lights out of storage and plug them in, for old time’s sake.

You might want to think again. Even if the wiring is intact and all the bulbs work, you’ve got better use for the electrical power those ancient incandescent bulb filaments will require to light up.

Yes, modern LED Christmas lights may be more expensive, but they’re becoming more commonplace and inexpensive.

The Nebraska Public Power District urges customers to use light-emitting diode decorative lights this year and apply your energy dollar toward more important causes such as keeping your home cozy this winter.

Using LEDs, you can remain competitive in the neighborhood lighting contest and use up to 99 percent less energy, according to NPPD.

As an added bonus, LED lights last 50 times longer than the incandescent alternative, greatly increasing the cost efficiency.

“LED lights can be more expensive than incandescent bulbs up front, but the investment will save you more money on your energy bill in the long run,” says Nebraska Public Power District’s Energy Efficiency Program Manager Cory Fuehrer. “The longer lifespan of LED lights, will save you money on replacements, as well.”

Using more efficient lights also frees up energy that can be used to heat homes when temperatures hit their lowest points during the winter, he said.

“NPPD is always striving to help customers make their homes and businesses as energy efficient as possible and using LED lights for both Christmas decorations and your general interior and exterior lighting provides outstanding savings,” added Fuehrer.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED lights are much cooler and reduce the risk of combustion or burnt fingers, more resistant to breakage, last longer, and are easier to install.

Of course, there are numerous other safety considerations associated with Christmas, such as making sure wiring is safe, combustible materials stay away from ignition sources, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are operating properly.

However, if you’re adding or replacing old Christmas lights, give careful consideration to LEDs.

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