Did you notice last year? LED tree lights, the newest entry in eco-friendly Christmas decorations, literally flew off the shelves. Total LED Sales Reported Achieved – Are You Sitting Down? – a staggering $ 7.4 billion in 2009. This includes LED icicle lights, LED Christmas tree lights, and other types of LED home lighting. But are LED Christmas lights really the eco-winners that you imagine them to be? Like “organic” and “100% natural”, “green” is an elastic concept. And there is definitely a greener alternative to LED Christmas lights, but more on that in a minute.
One thing is for sure: LED Christmas lights use less energy than normal incandescent Christmas lights. So compared to the big Christmas lights and even the miniature Christmas lights that you may have grown up with, LEDs are the best option from an energy point of view. Plus, they make sense for outdoor Christmas lighting, as they require no maintenance and have a long lifespan.
Another thing is for sure too: LED lighting is here to stay. It has traction in the market and is enthusiastically promoted by the industry. For example, one of the large construction supply chains has just launched a campaign to recycle its old Christmas lights, offering a discount on LED Christmas tree lights for every string of incandescent lights that customers deliver. With this kind of push early in the season, sales will be off the charts this year. The best thing since granola?
Do LED Christmas lights fit in with the granola lifestyle? Although they consume less energy, it would be an exaggeration to call LED Christmas trees and LED tree lights a natural product.
The LED light wire is made from oil-based plastics (just like all light wires these days). And the LED bulb itself is coated in epoxy, a super hardened chemical polymer. Although epoxy is widely used in various products, epoxy resin contains bisphenol A, a harmful substance that has been banned from some consumer items. Some buyers are trying to keep their living space free of chemicals, including building materials, wood finishes, home textiles, carpets, work surfaces, etc. Others just want to reduce the amount of plastic in their lives. These consumers may have concerns about LED Christmas lighting.
Safety and fire prevention are top concerns in every Christmas season, with good reason. No Christmas light can be 100% safe. But LED lighting is touted as especially safe. Despite this, problems can arise. Just a couple of days after Halloween, large box vendor Costco announced that he was recalling a line of LED-lit Christmas figures that could start a fire, likely an electrical problem of some kind. A problem like this, at the beginning of the shopping season, underscores the fact that even LED Christmas lights are not necessarily risk-free. Like an LED balloon …
LED Christmas lights are great. But that’s exactly the problem in the eyes of some buyers. They are too cold.
LED lighting has a different spectral quality. Some people feel it weighs on blues and light LED Christmas Lights on yellows, reds, golds, and tans, all colors on the tan end of the spectrum. Of course, this is subjective. But if you are sensitive to light quality, LEDs may not be your choice, especially if you are looking for a warm and welcoming feel. The new lights receive mixed reviews and pass like an LED balloon among some traditionalists and aesthetes.
Get off the grid
Christmas does not have to be a burden on the environment. Let’s say you’re serious about giving up your old incandescent lights and going green, but you can’t accept the idea of LED Christmas tree lights.
Fortunately, there is a low-tech alternative that uses even less electricity than LED Christmas lights: Candlepower. In fact, the Christmas tree candles will totally take you off the grid. They do not use electricity to produce light, only air. This makes them the greenest alternative to incandescent and LED Christmas lights. And from an aesthetic point of view, they are unbeatable. The sight of a Christmas tree bathed in the warm glow of natural candlelight will stop you in your tracks. It is fascinating. The wonderful and warm feeling it evokes is difficult to describe, it is something you have to experience.
You can choose to light your Christmas tree with candles because of their beauty or because they are 100% green. But safety should be your top priority. Use candles carelessly and it may start a fire. But if you take your time, place the candles correctly, and use common sense, you can enjoy them all during the holiday season with peace of mind.
For our grandparents and great-grandparents celebrating Christmas in the pre-electric era, Christmas candles were the only option when it came to tree trimming. But they didn’t just melt the end of the candle and drop it on a branch. They used simple and ingenious candle holders, made especially for Christmas trees. Unfortunately, Christmas candles and Christmas tree candle holders were discontinued when electric Christmas decorations hit the market around WWI.