The holiday season is upon us: it is time to bring in the pumpkins and put out the wreaths, pull down the fake cobwebs and put up the tinsel garland. The crowning achievement of all this holiday decorating – one that really lets the neighborhood know – is the hanging of the Christmas lights. But hang on just a minute. This year there is a new strand in town – solar holiday lights. Many times over I’ve written about the ever-growing diversity of solar lighting. This time is no different.
These new solar lights bring worry-free lighting to the season and will do their part to alleviate those hefty winter energy bills. Available via Gaiam.com, these Christmas lights are attached to a solar panel that collects energy during the day. At night, a sensor tells the lights to turn on and, in turn, shuts them off again when the sun rises in the morning.
Here is the catch: solar powered holiday lights cost at least $89 and are currently sold in 42-foot strands only. That is a hefty amount when stacked against the five or ten dollars you might pay for a conventional strand.
But here’s the deal: Your conventional light display will no doubt add dollars to your monthly electric bill, the amount depending on your regional electricity costs. These solar holiday lights, however, are LED lights that should last for several seasons. So, like any other solar investment, what it takes away in the beginning it slowly and steadily gives back over time…plus interest!