Granby " LED Christmas lights save energy, money | SkyHiNews.com

Granby " LED Christmas lights save energy, money

Tonya Bina
tbina@grandcountynews.com
Grand County, Colorado

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

For those about to schlep twinkly lights up the ladder for home-exterior decoration, here’s something to consider: LEDs, or Light Emitting Diode (LED) holiday lights.

“I think it’s the lighting medium of the future because they are so efficient,” said Ace Hardware owner Tom McConathy.

Ace Hardware in Granby is running an LED campaign, collecting customers’ old Christmas lights for recycling and offering $3 off new strands of LEDs.

The swapped lights are shipped to Ace Hardware’s warehouse in Colorado Springs, then to Fort Collins for recycling where they are disassembled for their recyclable materials, such as copper, plastic and glass.

Already the store’s special ” planned to run through the holiday season ” has been well received, McConathy said.

“I didn’t think anyone would mess with it, but then that first day, we filled a garbage can,” he said.

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If half of all traditional holiday bulbs used in the United States were replaced with LED bulbs, it could yield a savings of $17 billion dollars a year in energy bills, according to howstuffworks.com.

“In conventional incandescent bulbs, the light-production process involves generating a lot of heat warming the filament,” howstuffworks explains. “This is completely wasted energy because a huge portion of the available electricity isn’t going toward producing visible light. LEDs generate very little heat, relatively speaking. A much higher percentage of the electrical power is going directly to generating light, which cuts down on the electricity demands considerably.”

The same LED technology lights up digital clock numbers, works in remote controls, watches and is the “On” for appliances.

LEDs use 80 percent less electric consumption than conventional lights, according to Mountain Parks Electric.

To promote energy savings, Mountain Parks is also selling the indoor and outdoor lights in red, multi-color (red, blue, candlelight, green and orange), candlelight and orange.

Running 600 regular lights for 30 days, six hours a day at Mountain Parks’ standard residential rate could cost as much as $23.65 compared with LED’s 34 cents in energy, Mountain Parks calculates.

Because LEDs don’t have a filament that will burn out, they last much longer ” at least 20 years or 50,000 hours ” and stay cool, reducing fire risk.

Another benefit, McConathy pointed out, is that as many as 40 sets of LEDs can be hooked together compared to only three sets of traditional lights.

The added bonus, LEDs have “come down dramatically in price,” McConathy said, with prices now comparable to traditional ones. And over the years, he said, the coloring of the lights have greatly improved, making them more appealing to consumers.

Want to see them in action? The town of Winter Park switched all their holiday lights to LEDs last year. Mountain Parks has them, and Granby’s Ace Hardware building is festively LED-adorned.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@grandcountynews.com.

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