Friday, February 17, 2012

Making Holidays Greener

Making Holidays Greener

It’s no longer Christmas, but my 5 year old doesn’t seem to care.  He likes playing the Christmas with the Chipmunks album on the PlayStation3 while he plays video games.  He wants to decorate a tree.  For some strange reason both last year and this year he wanted Christmas in February and March.  Some campgrounds (which are usually only open in the spring, summer and part of fall) offer festivities like Christmas in July or Christmas in August.  The lots are decorated with Christmas décor and lights and there’s even a parade where Santa is the final “float”.  It’s fun and the younger kids get a kick out of it, especially when it happens so close to the 4th of July parade and activities.

So, given my son’s recent obsession with a holiday that’s still more than 9 months away, I’ve got Christmas on the brain.  What better time to talk about Christmas lights?  (Actual Christmastime, right?)

LED Christmas lights are getting more and more affordable.  For Christmas 2010 we invested in some for about $30/box (300-light strand).  For Christmas 2011, for the same product, they were nearly half that!  When looking for “stocking stuffers” at Walgreens a couple nights before Santa’s arrival, I saw a box of 50 for just $5.  The LED revolution is in full-force, I thought.  LED holiday lights come in various colors including multi-color strands and single-color strands.  Plus, they can be used for more than just decking the halls at Christmas.  The color varieties lend themselves to Halloween, birthdays, weddings and just another way to light up a small space.  Our friends go “all-out” decorating for Halloween and Christmas – lights, spooky ghosts and skeletons for Halloween and Santa’s sleigh and reindeer, among other things, for Christmas.  I think I’ll be suggesting they make the switch to LED this year.

Many light strands, including the one featured here, have several settings such as “waves”, sequential, slow glow, chase flash, constant on, and others.  The LEDs are great, since, like all other LED products, they consume less energy.  The ones featured here take only 1 to 5 watts, depending on the sequence mode being used.  They stay cool during and after operation, so there’s less fire hazards than with traditional lights and you won’t be replacing them every year, since they last for at least up to 25,000 hours.

Most people usually wish for a white Christmas, but I’ll be looking for a “green” one this year!

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