Go eco-friendly with holiday light displays
Thanksgiving weekend is the traditional time to put up holiday lights in homes, yards and on Christmas trees. This year, add more green to your holiday by following a few tips for making the holiday season more eco-friendly.
This year the experts behind those magical displays are weighing in on how to bring similar looks home for the holidays:
- Know your lights. When purchasing lights, begin by making sure that all of the light strings are compatible, and don't be caught running out to the store for more lights. When choosing the amount of lights to purchase, plan on using an average of 100-150 lights per vertical foot of the tree.
- Go Green. The national tree in Washington, D.C. isn't the only one that will sparkle with LED technology this year. The use of LED holiday lighting, which consumes up to 80 percent less energy than incandescent holiday lights, may fill as much as 45 percent of store shelves this season. Because LEDs are cool-operating, they can be left on for extended periods, making them an ideal fit for both indoor and outdoor lighting.
- Opt for LED color-changing lights, colored lights and white lights. Because long-lasting LEDs emit less heat, they're also much more durable, so if one bulb goes out, the rest continue to work. LED light strings use only 10 percent of the energy of regular incandescent light strings and last about 10 times longer.
- Add movement. Want that snowflake display to sparkle or your eight tiny reindeer to trot? Give the illusion of movement with color changing lights. Many options are available, including twinkling, chasing and fade-in, fade-out styles.
- Mix lighting styles. To make holiday lighting stand out, pair strings of different sized lights together to add depth to décor. On the tree, set a base of white lights at the bottom and continue upward, adding strands of large bulbs and novelty lights for color and variety.
- Find inspiration. Every year, thousands of tree lighting ceremonies take place all over the country. Draw ideas from these magical designs. One of the most renowned tree lightings is the National Christmas Tree in President's Park, a tradition that began in 1923.
- LEDs aren't limited to just traditional lights; switch your icicle lights, walkway trees, snowmen, reindeer and more to brighten your holiday decor without breaking the bank.
- Save energy and the environment and supplement your holiday displays with ornaments such as wreaths, ribbons and other decorations that don't consume energy.
Sources: GE Lighting, Florida Power & Light Company
Teena Hammond Teena Hammond has published more than 2,000 articles in People and W magazines, Women's Wear Daily, and in dozens of newspapers and books. She also wrote a home improvement, remodeling and decor column that ran in Gannett newspapers nationwide. She's interested in all things green and would love to hear from you with your story ideas.