For me, nothing induces a good case of eco-guilt like Christmas tree lights. They may be gaudy, cheesy, blazing examples of over-consumption festooned across our streets, but I love them. But this year, it’s time to break free from this dysfunctional relationship and invest in a few strands of LED lights to twinkle my greenery. Compared to traditional Christmas lights, I’ll be using 1/10th the amount of electricity to light the small LED’s, and 1/160th for the larger bulbs. Beyond the expected energy savings, LED strands also burn brighter so my tree will be more jolly than my neighbors’ tawdry displays. LED’s are also significantly more durable, meaning my holiday cheer will survive the elements and twinkle for years to come.

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There are a ton of LED options out there with varying degrees of eco-efficiency. has more varieties than I ever knew existed: big bulbs, small bulbs, nets, beads. Talk about a winter wonderland., on the other hand, has a more edited selection, but their battery operated lights can help with the more strategic placement (with batteries from of course).

Or, you can take your seasonal display completely off the grid with these solar powered christmas lights. They run about 30 dollars for a strand of sixty lights. Personally, I’d like to know how well the solar panel works before making the switch. Your friendly neighborhood power mongers at PG&E have more information.

Of all these varieties, we prefer the simple Philips white LEDs (shown below) the best .