The Battle of the Christmas Lights: LED vs. Incandescent

The Battle of the Christmas Lights: LED vs. Incandescent

It’s that time of year again, when you head to the garage or the loft to drag out that old box of Christmas decorations and lights to make your home look festive. However, this year, you might want to consider a change, and decide to invest in a new set of lights to add a new and special touch? With that in mind, this article looks at the differences between the standard incandescent bulbs that many traditional Christmas lights use, and the modern LED bulb option that many families are now opting for. Make sure you have a good read before you decide which to go for this Christmas:


Whether you opt for LED or incandescent bulbs, your choice of size, shape and colour of Christmas lights is endless. Some people love the traditional appearance of incandescent bulbs, with their glass cases and retro bulbs, however, others will prefer to opt for a more modern LED effect, which comes with other visual benefits too.

The important, undeniable advantage that LED lights have is their purity of colour. LED lights emit a pure light, not defined by the colour of the casing, therefore the effect is purer and more striking as a result.

LED lights also come with another added feature, and that is that you can alter the effect of the light at the touch of the button. Many models can be used with a dimmer switch so that you can alter the brightness of the lights to suit your taste, and there is the option of allowing your lights to twinkle, flash or fade out, depending on your preference.


There is no denying it – LED lights are more expensive than their incandescent counterparts, however, although the initial outlay may be high, the return on investment is worth the spend. LED lights use approx. one tenth of the energy compared to incandescents, so if you like to use a lot of lights in your home at Christmas time, then you may well make your money back during year one!

The reason that LED lights are more energy efficient is because 95% of the energy they contain is converted into light with only 5% wasted as heat. This is compared to fluorescent lights which convert 95% of energy to heat and only 5% into light.

That is a big difference! LEDs will generally last you about 10 years, therefore, make sure that you choose a colour and style that will not go out of fashion, and which will stand the test of time.


LED lights do not get hot to the touch, therefore, they are safe to use around your Christmas tree, wreaths or garlands, and are a better option for households with small children or animals. As incandescent lights are cased in glass, they can get very hot – enough in fact to burn or ignite other decorations, should they be left on for a long period of time