Switching to LED (light-emitting diodes) holiday lights can save quite a bit of money and energy.
Just how much you ask?
Find out by using our Holiday Lighting Energy Calculator that's available on the Dominion website.
The calculator shows that three 100-bulb strings of LED lights cost our customers just a penny a day for electricity to light a home or tree for six hours a day. That compares with 10 cents a day for three 100-bulb strings of incandescent "mini" or "icicle" lights.
The cost to light a holiday tree with LEDs is 13 cents to 17 cents per season, compared to $6 to $10 for incandescent lights, according to the Electric Power Research Institute.
One of the Richmond area's largest holiday light displays, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden's GardenFest of Lights, uses more than 20 miles of LED strands in its 600,000-light display, which runs through January 11, 2010.
For illumination, LEDs use electron movement in tiny semiconductors - miniature versions of the chips that help run computers - instead of filaments like incandescent bulbs. They are manufactured in a variety of traditional shapes, sizes and colors that blink and flicker. Because LEDs are encased in hard plastic instead of fragile glass, they are more durable.
EPRI estimates potential annual electricity cost savings in the nation would exceed $250 million if all seasonal mini-lights were switched to LEDs. This translates into a potential carbon emissions reduction of 400,000 tons per year, the equivalent of removing 65,882 automobiles from roads for one year.
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