Solar Christmas Lights: Pros and Cons

Trusst Builder Group > Blog > Design Trends > Solar Christmas Lights: Pros and Cons

December 13, 2016 / By Trusst Builder Group

Stringing the interior and exterior of the home in twinkling Christmas lights is a tradition in many American households. But, as beautiful as these tiny lights can be, when combined, they can be a massive energy eater. For this reason, LED Christmas lights have steadily replaced old fashioned holiday lights. LEDs not only use half the energy of standard lights, they also last up to ten times longer as well.

But, for many homeowners, making the change to LED still isn’t enough. To help manage their energy consumption even further, solar powered Christmas lights have entered the market. These lights use no man-made energy at all because they get all of the energy they need to light up from the sun. When the sun goes down, the lights turn on. And, when the sun comes up, they turn off and recharge.

If you’re thinking about replacing your holiday lights this year with solar Christmas lights, then this guide from Trusst’s Leland NC builders will help you learn more about this new type of holiday lighting and what you can expect from it.

How Solar Powered Christmas Lights Work

Solar powered Christmas lights feature a string of lights, usually anywhere from 25 to 100 light bulbs. Instead of being plugged directly into an electrical outlet, these lights are wired to a small solar panel about the size of a hockey puck. The solar panel has a stake connected to it that allows you to stick it in the ground wherever it can catch the most sunlight. When fully charged, the solar lights should turn on when the sun goes down and stay illuminated for six to eight hours.

Advantages of Using Solar Lights for Holiday Decorating

Solar Christmas lights offer a range of benefits that can be highly attractive to the environmentally conscious homeowner. For starters, these lights use no electricity, so they cost nothing to operate. This makes them the best “green” option available.

Solar lights can also withstand cold temperatures, snow, and rain. The amount of light they produce is comparative to plug-in lights and you won’t have a myriad of electrical cords cluttering up your yard.

Disadvantages of Solar Holiday Lighting

Solar Christmas lights have three primary disadvantages. The most important for homeowners is the fact that the lights may not operate or perform poorly under cloudy skies. During a time of year when cloudy skies are the norm, this could result in your home not having the nightly festive décor you wanted it to have.

Another potential problem with these lights is that the light strings tend to be shorter than many plug-in varieties. And, with each string requiring its own solar panel, you could wind up having a lot of solar panels in your yard. Lastly, these lights are relatively new on the market, so there is no evidence yet to back up their longevity.

Solar vs LED for Christmas Lights

Both solar Christmas lights and LED lights cost about the same, so there is no benefit of choosing one over the other, cost-wise. The biggest difference is in the cost of operation, in which solar has none.

The cost of running a string of 100 LED lights for 300 hours, which is more than enough time for the holiday season, costs about 24 cents, using an average energy cost of 12 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). Take that amount and multiply it by the number of light strings you need to use to light up your house and that will give you an idea of how much your holiday lighting will cost you.

Happy Holidays from Trusst Builder Group’s Leland NC Builders

Trusst’s Leland NC builders wants to wish you and your family a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! We hope we were able to “shed some light” on the subject of solar powered Christmas lights.

Whether you are a new client, an old client, or you’re thinking about having us build your new home in the coming year, we truly appreciate your business and look forward to providing you with the quality service you expect from Trusst Builder Group. If you want to get started planning your new home, give us a call today at 910-371-0304 to schedule a consultation with our Leland NC builders.

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