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Money Matters: Save on holiday lighting

Reported by: Brittany Price
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Updated: 12/19/2012 12:08 pm

Adding holiday shine on a dime can be done. It starts with the type of bulbs you bust out.

"This is the big revolution here, the LED lights," Michael Vinson, Holiday Lighting Owner said.

That’s in comparison to traditional incandescent lights, which are much more inefficient. A typical incandescent glass bulb uses about seven watts of power.

"If you've ever felt one of these when it's burning it's very, very hot. What that's telling you is most of that 7 watts is not going into creating light, it's going in to creating heat," Vinson said.  

LED’s, on the other hand, use much less power.

"LED’s use less than one watt. It's just a minuscule amount. Most of their energy is going into creating light, not heat," Vinson said.  

However, there's a reason incandescent bulbs are still around.

"These are in the 10, 15, to 20 cent range," Vinson said.

That's a fraction of what the LED’s cost.

"These are in the $1.50 to $2.00 range per bulb,” Vinson said. "The reason this is so expensive is, if you'll look in there this has a little chip." 

Advanced technology makes LED lights suck up less power and that keeps the electric bill down.  

"I've talked to some customers who have big houses that said their electric bill was up $300 to $400 a month. These are big houses with lots of lights. They converted to LED and it went down to $50 or $60 dollars," Vinson said.

The extra expense for the lights can save you more in the long run, but whatever bulb you go with investing in an automatic timer can control cost. The

"I have a lot of customers that think they don't want the expense of timer, they've got a switch on the eve plugs and they'll turn them on and off. They're like me and they forget. They leave them on 24-hours-a-day and that starts to run your bill up," Vinson said.  

Vinson said additional benefits to LED lights include durability and a significantly longer lifetime.

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