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Commentary: Have yourself a very green Christmas

Samantha Sincock, Editorial Director/Arts Editor

Samantha Sincock, Editorial Director/Arts Editor

Christmas time is here and so are the electricity bills from our treasured holiday delights.

Walking or driving down the streets one becomes awed by the display of brightly colored Santa’s, decorative candy cans lining the walkway, or the hundreds of bright strands adorning every inch of the houses outer complexion. You enjoy the grandeur of the sparkling winter lights but fail to realize as they are making holiday magic that they are also releasing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

Kind of takes away the joyous feeling when you’re wearing a short-sleeved shirt on December 24th because of the induced global warming.

But wait, this year Santa can bring a gift the whole world can benefit from, LED (light-emitting diode) lights, they bring the Christmas spirit as well as reduce pollution, and did I mention they save money.

The hardware stores have begun carrying these ‘life-savers’ but the problem is the cost. I have seen countless couples and excited families come upon the LED’s and pass them by after realizing the small price difference from traditional bulbs.

Although this might be news to you, these little energy saving bulbs have been used for quite some time from commercial buildings to handheld flashlights. And because they have become increasingly popular in the economic and global crises at hand, their price has dropped and can be acquired by any American household.

LED products are Energy Star rated by the federal government meaning; they have passed tests on the bulbs life, color qualities and brightness. But, even if your LED’s do not have an Energy Star label, they have a longer life expectancy and brightness than traditional bulbs. And for you Christmas light fanatics here is a fascinating fact, even if one bulb on an LED strand goes out, the rest of the lights will remain lit, absolutely unaffected.

So what is it going to be? Buy the traditional bulb that is $5-10 less than LED’s and have them fail and pollute the air? Or come to your senses and buy the energy and cost effective lights?

If you are in love with Christmas lights and enjoy getting into the season with decorating then get ride of those incandescent and replace them with efficient strands of LED’s. Their strings are longer, less likely to cause fires, lower power requirements and will most likely be working 50 years from when you purchase them.

So buy yourself a gift this Christmas and replace your lights for a joyous holiday. The earth will thank you and so will your pocketbook.

Samantha Sincock, a junior journalism major, is editorial director and arts editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached at

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