LED versus Incandescent Christmas Tree Lights

Posted 2013-12-18
Written by
Category Taking Action

Do NWT consumers really save money if they replace old style incandescent Christmas lights with new LED lights? A Yellowknife resident updated his Christmas tree with new LED lights this year. The Christmas tree originally had 800 T1 ¾ midget incandescent bulbs (400 Watts of lighting), which were replaced by 800 C5 type LED bulbs (34 Watts of lighting). On average, Christmas lights are on approximately 330 hours per Christmas season, i.e. three weeks at six hours per week day and 12 hours per weekend day, and for the two weeks of holidays on for 12 hours per day.

Type of Christmas tree lighting

Total electricity consumption of the Christmas lights

Price of Electricity in Yellowknife

Total electricity cost

400 Watts Incandescent bulbs

400W x 330hrs /1000W/kWh


$36 / Christmas season

34 Watts LED bulbs

34W x 330hrs /1000W/kWh


$3 / Christmas season

Each Christmas season, this homeowner would save approximately $33 in electricity costs. The upfront cost to the new C5 type LED bulbs was $288, for a payback of approximately 9 years. Considering the extended life span of LED bulbs, it is concluded that this initiative is a viable investment for the homeowner. The savings would be even greater if the homeowner was located in a non-hydroelectric community. In that case, making the switch of lighting would generate financial savings, as well as significant greenhouse gas reductions.