Since we moved into our house, we enjoy putting lights outside on various trees and bushes in the front of the house, as well as the deck railing in back.
This year, we completed the transition to LED lighting for the entire outdoor set of lights! I'm happy to say that we like it a lot. As an added bonus, our next door neighbors do their garage, trees and bushes in the same style of lighting so we inadvertently created a ‘double dose' of lighting.
It was a ‘long' road to get here, relatively speaking.
In 2008, we had no plans to get up and do any shopping on Black Friday. However, for reasons I can't remember, we were both up around 5am. I decided to go look at the sale ads and found that the KMart ad contained a great sale on LED lights. We agreed that since we were up we'd go there, as well as to a couple of other places.
KMart had multi-colored LED lights, for which we bought seven sets or so at a good price.
That year, we used them indoors on our ‘family room' tree.
As much as we tried to tell ourselves we liked it, in the end we really didn't. The lights, while cool, provided too many ‘spotlights' around the room.
So, last year in 2009 we returned that tree to traditional lighting.
The LED lights we had previously used ended up going out on the deck railing, and the railing lights came in to the tree. In the front we still used our regular lines as well. Those were el cheapo lines, and the biggest problem with them is that, since they were in trees and since I was working from the and since they were cheaply made, lights sometimes got pulled loose from their sockets when being taken down.
This year, in 2010, I decided to take advantage of a ‘double promotion' by Home Depot to replace all of the lights in front. They had a sale, plus they had a trade in offer of $3 per old line of lights. All told, I was able to replace the 700 lights or so with new lights for an average of $5 per line of 50, which I thought was pretty good.
The ‘spotlight' effect isn't an issue outside. I know that they were costing us lots of money on our energy bill, plus the LED lights that go on the tree are little ‘nubs' versus the longer bulbs in traditional lines, so there's less chance of them getting pulled out during the taking down process.
Our inside lights are still all traditional lights. The coloring of the lights isn't warm enough with LEDs to allow us to bring them indoors. Hopefully as the technology advances, they will be able to ‘warm up' the lights while cutting back on some of the ‘harshness' that still seems to be in play with LED lines.
Even so, we'll consume much less energy indoors this year. In the past, we've done three Christmas trees. One in the front window that was kind of the ‘classy' tree. One in the family room that had all of our ‘fun and family' ornaments. One in the dining room that was a really small tree that didn't take long to put up and was sort of an add-on. Still, with a very curious Little Boy Beagle, we had to cut back down to one. We combined the first two trees, so that we have our tree in the window in the front window but it contains our ‘fun and family' sentimental ornaments.