using-led-lights-this-holidayLED lighting can be used anywhere and everywhere this holiday season and throughout the year. LED is an acronym for Light Emitting Diode, the technical description of the energy-saving lighting products.

LED lights emit very low heat and carbon dioxide and they can be recycled. This reduces the risk of fire and keeps the air inside and out much cleaner.

They use up to 80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and they last for years. A 50-light string of incandescent tree lights uses an average of 250 watts while a 70-light string of LED lights uses about three watts.

New technology

The light bulb’s color is in the LED’s semiconductor chip. The light’s outside case can be clear or colored. In contrast, the incandescent lights are all clear white or yellow with the casing carrying the color. Those colors can fade over time while the LED colors do not change.

LED lights come in all sizes and shapes. This includes round bulbs and the standard C5, C6, C7 and C9 pointed bulb strings normally found on holiday lights. LEDs are available on the 5mm mini icicle strings.

The shapes include pointed “strawberry” and round “raspberry” lights as well as long icicle bulbs. Lights can work on timer switches and they can alternate for that twinkling affect.

Consider the iTwinkle Light app that lets you create a light show or turn lights on and off using your smart phone. The Red Green Blue (RGB) controller allows you to mix LED lights of any size to different colors and intensities. Advanced microchip technology is taking holiday lighting to a new level.

The color selection ranges from white to bright blues, greens, yellow, orange and reds. Try a green sphere or a battery powered light of yellow microdots. The larger G12, G25, G30 to G50 size LED bulbs also come in holiday colors.

String and rope colors include the standard white and dark green. All bulbs are sealed and waterproofed one-piece units.

How to use LED lights

LED lights plug into outlets the same way as conventional incandescent lights. You can connect up to 48 LED strings together to plug into one socket.

Do not mix LED strings with your old conventional lights. Follow directions on the LED packages and use EnergyStar certified lights that come with a three-year warranty. Make sure the electrical strings are suitable for outdoor use in cold, wet weather.

LED strings and ropes can be used along pathways and under steps to illuminate the area where people walk. You may decide to use stick strips of simple white LED lights under steps to illuminate the entrance to your home all year.

Special LED strings and ropes are available for wrapping around trees, lamp posts, gates and terraces. Hang icicle lights from your roof line or fence. LED lights are also available in special nets that can be placed over bushes or small trees. Outdoor LED light use is limited only to your imagination.

Indoor use

This is also based on your imagination and personal preferences. The lights can be placed anywhere. LED lights come in a string of one color or varied colors.

Many homes have strips of white or yellow LED lights placed under cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms for better illumination at night. Place colorful light strips around windows, walls, bookshelves and door frames. You can decorate wreaths and holiday tables safely with LED lights since there is no excessive heat.

Enjoy the holidays with clean, energy-efficient LED lights in your favorite colors.