This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

December 20, 2006

LEDs Provide Efficient Lighting Options for the Holidays

'Tis the season to festoon your abode with thousands of multicolored lights, but there's no need to set your electricity bill afire in the process. As the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) points out, there are a number of energy efficient options, of which one of the best is LED (light-emitting diode) lighting. According to ASE, each LED bulb is up to 90 percent more efficient than its incandescent counterpart. The LED bulbs can last up to 20 years, produce very little heat, and yes, they're bright. Not willing to give up those traditional lights? Consider at least putting them on a timer, so they'll turn off when most people are tucking themselves into bed. For these and other energy saving tips for the holidays, see the ASE press release.

Photo of giant white snowflake images on the dark facade of a building.

Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City is using LED lights to create a giant snowflake display.
Credit: Philips

Energy efficient lighting may be becoming a new holiday tradition. As the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) notes, the Times Square Ball that will make its descent on New Year's Eve will include LEDs for half of its lights this year. (LIPA is also offering $2 rebates on LEDs for the home.) LEDs have also taken over the exterior of nearby Saks Fifth Avenue, which is employing 40,000 of the tiny lights to create a 10-story-high dynamic display of giant falling snowflakes. Philips Lighting provided the LEDs. On the opposite coast, California's official holiday tree is also bedecked with LED lights, but since it's California, they've gone a step further: the display is powered by a fuel cell. The tree features more than 6,500 LED lights that draw their power from a 1-kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell, which was provided by the California Stationary Fuel Cell Collaborative. See the press releases from LIPA, Philips, the California Air Resources Board, and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.