One of the things that I like to save money on is the old power bill, but not really at the expense of our quality of life or our family’s security.
We have always felt better having our yard well light at night, especially in the winter when it can be pretty slippery.
It’s a dark walk at night to our back door, so my solution was to run strings of Christmas lights with clear bulbs along the top of the fence and under the eves to light the sidewalk path. Sure I had them on a timer to save power, and they did do a good job of lighting the area but the cost of running them for even a few hours each night and morning (in the winter) was a lot. I was running 4 strings of lights to make it from our gate to our back door. Each string had 25 bulbs and each bulb used about 5 watts. (That was the improved variety... my first strings were 7 watt bulbs!) That made the set up equivalent to running 5 -100 watt bulbs... Big power draw! Not to mention the cost of replacing all those burned out bulbs each year and how difficult it can sometimes be to get the clear outdoor bulbs even at christmas time.
A new solution was needed, so last fall we bought strings of the LED indoor/outdoor lights to replace our old incandescent style of strings.
The brand that we found is made by a company called Luminus but there are others as well. What we liked about these ones is that the bulb part is made of plastic (so no broken glass) and it twists off so you can replace the tiny LED bulb inside. We have purchased strings of LED lights before, only to have bulbs that don’t work for some reason, but no way to change out the bulb. So either you have a set of lights with burned-out sections, or you replace the whole set. Not very environmentally friendly or cost-effective if you ask me.
Anyway, with the sets we got, each string has 50 bulbs and is about 33 feet or 10 meters long. They don't flicker, are water resistant, don't make any heat and we could hook as many as 20 strings together. And the LEDs are warranted for 3 years.
The best part is that they only use, according to the box, 3.5 watts per string. That means that I can light all my outdoor strings of lights for less than 4 bulbs of the old strings. Because they take so little power, I am running them on a dusk to dawn timer so that they turn off automatically when the sun comes up and on again when the sun goes down. No more fiddling with a timer as the daylight hours change.
WOW! What a power saver! There was a massive drop in my power consumption over the winter months between last year and this year.
I did pick the warm white because some of the others that are not marked as warm white have a colour to them that might look ok at christmas but for year round use we prefer a real white light. They also look nice in the summer when we’re relaxing at night enjoying a cool breeze on our back deck.
Of course these LEDs are not as bright as our old christmas lights were, but with 4 strings of them they still give plenty of light to walk safely. They are a warm welcome home in the dark of night and save a lot of power.