Sunday, December 6, 2009


Yesterday friends Karen and John came over, and we headed out to the power line where the spindly Alaska trees grow a little better with more sun. Here's what we found!

Then today we put up 4 strings of LED christmas lights outside. They are the big C9 size, like I used to have on my house as a kid. I like the big ones, they make the house look more like a gingerbread house.

LED Christmas lights in detail:
LEDs seem to be the new thing. In this C-9 size they only use 20 watts for 200 lights, compared to about 1400 watts for the same number of incandescent bulbs!

The amber and red colors are not quite as bright as the old incandescent ones, but they are much more vivid. Green is about as bright and the blue bulbs are brighter since the old blue bulbs cut out most of the yellowish light produced by incandescent bulbs. For some reason the yellow bulbs are quite dim.

I have a couple 25-bulb sets of white incandescent C-9 bulbs in the back yard for yard lighting, and they are much brighter than the LED bulbs, but I could have 3400 LED bulbs and use the same amount of power. Still, the LED bulbs seem to be very visible but they don't really illuminate anything around them.As an interesting side note , LED bulbs happen to shine brighter and last longer the colder it is.

LED bulbs seem to be 2-4 times more expensive than incandescent bulbs, if you can even find them any more. The bulbs should last at least 5-50 times longer, but I wouldn't expect sets to last forever. Wires can crack, mass low cost manufacturing results in pretty low quality so sometime LED sets just die. All that aside,even if they outlast regular lights somewhat, they save installation time and tons off your electric bill.