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10 Things You Should Know About LED Christmas Lights

You're probably thinking about what to give those on your holiday gift lists. But have you thought about upgrading your home's holiday light display? Here are 10 things you should know about LED Christmas lights.

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String of multicolor Christmas lights with green wiring.Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

Lights are lights, right?

When it comes to holiday decorating, you might just grab the first box (or five boxes) of lights you see in the store and call it a day. How different can lights be, really? You just plug them in and they glow, right? Well, it turns out that there are lots of things that differentiate LED lights from more traditional incandescent lights—and if you haven’t tried them out yet, here are some reasons you might want to give LED lights a try. Once you’ve got the lowdown on the lights, find out the surprising history between 10 popular Christmas traditions.

The Cost Factorpogonici/Shutterstock

The cost factor

While LED Christmas lights will cost you more money upfront, you’ll save money in the long run. You can pay $13.65 per month to decorate your rooftop with those old incandescent lights, or you can pay 22 cents with LED lights (prices estimated by Xcel Energy Colorado). And since LEDs cost more to produce because components are often assembled by hand, they need conducting material to dissipate heat and to get a natural white glow they are often coated with yellow phosphor. Find out some more tips to set up a stellar holiday light display without breaking the bank.

Cool to the TouchTierneyMJ/Shutterstock

Cool to the touch

If you have children or pets and are concerned about safety around holiday decorations, LEDs are a good choice because they produce next to no heat. And that means they’re always cool to the touch. Here are some more handy holiday decorating tips to keep you and your family safe.

The Weather FactorJo Ann Snover/Shutterstock

The weather factor

LED Christmas lights have no problem coming on and working in cold temperatures. And in fact, LEDs get more efficient as the outdoor temperature gets lower. While you’re hanging up your Christmas lights, make the task merrier by listening to our all-time favorite Christmas songs.

They're DurableArina P Habich/Shutterstock


LED Christmas lights get high marks when it comes to durability. In tests, LED bulbs didn’t burn out after over 4,000 hours, while standard light-string bulbs burned out at a rate of one to two per strand before half that time. Take a break from decorating to visit these 16 charming, old-fashioned Christmas towns.

close up of Colorful LED Christmas lights in a line rainbow holiday colorsRoschetzky Photography/Shutterstock

More lights, fewer outlets

Typically, you can connect eight to ten times more mini LED light strings together end to end while only using one electrical outlet. With traditional Christmas mini lights, you can only connect four to five sets, end to end. LED mini light strings allow you to connect 40 to 50 together, depending on the light count. See how your house display stacks up against the most outrageous holiday light displays ever.

Yes, You Can Replace Single Bulbs

Yes, you can replace single bulbs

Just like classic incandescent Christmas lights, LED Christmas lights can fail, either one light at a time or an entire string. And single replacement bulbs are available for many LED string light bulbs. If you prefer colored lights, find out how red and green became the “official” Christmas colors.

Blue LEDs Can Make You SickYouproduction/Shutterstock

Blue LEDs can make you sick

Did you know that the blue light from LED Christmas lights (along with electronics such as tablets, smartphones and laptops) can mess with your circadian rhythm and result in loss of sleep, which in turn 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! Find out which other 18 holiday decorating mistakes you didn’t know you were making.

Big Bulbs vs. Small BulbsSofiaworld/Shutterstock

Big bulbs vs. Small bulbs

While mini lights have been the most popular Christmas light decorations for the past ten years or so, those “old-fashioned” big colored bulbs are making a comeback. The best part? Those big bulbs are available as LEDs. These are the 35 best small towns for Christmas lights.

Decorating Done RightVAlek Studio/Shutterstock

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 decorating evergreen trees, use bigger bulbs. Smaller bulbs look best on deciduous trees. Find out some more things your Christmas tree would tell you if it could.

Warm White or Cool White?Anteromite/Shutterstock

Warm white or cool white?

Popular LED Christmas lights are available with warm white light or cool white light. Warm white LED lights give off a soft glow that is comparable with traditional lights and are a good choice for using indoors on Christmas trees. And cool white LED lights can be used to achieve a more snow-white tone and are often used outdoors. Think regular ol’ lights are totally tame? Check out these wacky holiday decorations that your neighbors might not like.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.