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PEMCO Insurance talks Christmas lights: LED vs. traditional

SEATTLE — There are a couple of things to consider when choosing between LED or traditional Christmas lights.

PEMCO Insurance said it comes down to a combination of cost, personal preference and whether or not you’ll use the lights to decorate year after year.

“If you’re going to be using them year over year, you’re definitely going to want to use the LED lights because of the electricity savings and they last a lot longer than the standard lights,” said Kristine Zewe, an Underwriting Quality Analyst at PEMCO Insurance.  “They’re also a lot safer.”

The difference in these lights is the way they produce heat. The traditional lights use heat and a glowing filament. LEDs light up without heat.

They’re also less likely to spark a fire especially on a dry tree because they burn cool.

Anytime you are working with electrical products you will want to follow basic safety rules.

Here are a few tips from PEMCO:

  • Inspect light strands for cracks and fraying
  • Use only outdoor-rated lights and cords for outdoor displays
  • Keep connections dry
  • Don’t overload circuits and outlets
  • Keep ladder safety in mind as you decorate

If LED lights can save you money in the long run and last longer, why do people prefer traditional lights? Zewe said it boils down to personal preference and nostalgia.

“People like to see the displays that they grew up with and frankly the early LEDs weren’t that great,” said Zewe. “So, people tried them out and decided they weren’t worth it and went back to the old school. If you want to go for that old school look, you can get pretty close with LEDs with new technology.”

Choose warm light LEDs for indoor displays because they are softer and easier on the eyes. “Cool white” LEDs give more of a snow effect and are good for outdoor displays.

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