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LED holiday lighting saves energy, reduces costs

Nov. 19, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Thinking about buying holiday lights for trees or home decoration? Think LED for energy savings, longer life and safety.

Employees at Western Michigan University who are decorating offices for the holidays are encouraged to use LED--Light Emitting Diode--holiday lights, because "they are the most energy efficient holiday lamp on the market," says Carl Newton, WMU's energy reduction manager.

Energy efficiency--An LED C7 lamp uses 0.08 watts, compared to 0.48 watts for an incandescent mini-light and 6.0 watts for a standard incandescent C7 bulb, according to a 2007 fact sheet published by the Washington State University Extension Energy Program.

Long life and durability--LED lamps last up to 100,000 hours indoors and about 50,000 hours outdoors, depending on weather conditions. Compared to standard incandescent bulbs, LEDs are virtually indestructible. You can smash an LED with a hammer, but why would you do that?

Safety--LED lamps produce almost no heat, so the lamps, themselves, will never cause combustion, regardless of how long they remain on. Using safer lamps, however, does not reduce the risk from the major sources of combustion in holiday fires: frayed and overloaded electrical wiring, candles and cigarettes.

For more information on WMU energy reduction efforts, including automatic setback of thermostats and substituting compact fluorescent bulbs for standard incandescent bulbs, contact Carl Newton at carl.newton@wmich.edu or (269) 387-8502.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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