The Battle of Christmas Lights: LED vs. Incandescent

Is upgrading to LED Christmas lights a good idea for your home? Domestic CEO has 3 questions to consider when making the decision. 

Amanda Thomas
4-minute read
Episode #40

Question #3: Will I Save Money by Investing in LEDs?


While LED Christmas lights are more costly up front, they may actually end up saving you money in the long run. LED lights use about one tenth the energy of incandescent lights, so if you put up a lot of lights, you may make back the money you spent on them in your first holiday season. If you only put up a couple of strands, it’s not very likely that you are going to see a big difference on your electric bill. If, however, your home could compete with Clark Griswold, you may want to think about switching to the LED option.

Another reason to consider switching to LED lights is if you are lacking electrical plugs on the exterior of your home. If you are using incandescent Christmas lights, you can typically only string together 2-5 strands from one plug before you blow a fuse in the strands. This can cause a dilemma if you only have 2 outlets on your home’s exterior. You either have to get really creative with extension cords and outlet splitters, or you can switch to LED Christmas lights. Because the LED lights use 10 times less energy, you can string together 20-50 of them just fine. Just make sure that when you connect lights, whether they are incandescent or LED strings, you only connect strands of the same wattage (50-bulb strands with other 50-bulb strands, 100-bulb strands with 100-bulb strands, and so on).

All in all, LED Christmas lights can be a great upgrade in your Christmas decorations, but I wouldn’t recommend tossing your incandescent lights just to jump on the trend. Wait until your trusty old lights don’t work anymore, then upgrade a little at a time. If you decorate your home’s exterior and interior, condense your working incandescent lights to the interior, and buy new LED lights for the exterior, or visa versa. Not only will it keep you from having to pay an arm and a leg for all new lights, but it will also help you feel like you are doing your part to keep your old lights out of the landfill until the very last year possible.

If you are looking for some more holiday inspiration, check out the Christmas Decorations board on my Pinterest page where I’ve put together some of the best holiday ideas I discovered online. That’s pinterest.com/thedomesticceo.

Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.

String of Christmas Lights and Christmas Tree images from Shutterstock