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Posts in the category "LED Holiday Lighting"

Solar Holiday Lighting

September 29, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

Our good friends at www.holidayleds.com are cooking up a home-made solar lighting kit for LED holiday lighting —

“Each year we speak to and receive emails from a number of people who are interested in solar power Christmas lights. We’ve looked at several options for solar powered Christmas lights and found that most of the stuff that is on the market today simply isn’t very good. Most of the units we have looked at have solar panels that aren’t large enough or high enough quality to collect enough light to charge even a small battery. Additionally, the batteries on the sets we have tested all seem to be very low quality and don’t hold much of a charge. And worst of all, the lights weren’t even very bright. The average light output of the solar powered Christmas lights we tested had light output that was comparable to a dim power indicator light on a DVR or something. Since we couldn’t find any good solar power LED Christmas light sets we decided to make our own.”

Here’s a link to their story — http://www.holidayleds.com/articles/how_make_your_own_solar_powered_led_christmas_lights

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Living Christmas trees

December 6, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

 

Living Christmas tree installed and decorated for a Mercer Island Ecoyards client

An outdoor living Christmas tree decorated for a Mercer Island Ecoyards client

For the past few years, we’ve been coaxing a little slip of a fir tree to grow in a pot in our backyard. We dug up the seedling when it was only about a foot long. It was essentially a weed, which had volunteered in the landscape amid annuals and perennials. We took the seedling and potted it, and over time it has grown several feet in height. In December, we take it indoors to serve as our living Christmas tree. We keep in watered while in the house (read more tips on how to care for living trees). When Christmas is over, we move the potted tree back out on our deck.

The tree isn’t much really, and could rival Charlie Brown’s; it holds about two strings of LED Christmas lights and only a few ornaments. It’s not the ideal 6-foot Noble fir tree that I sometimes secretly covet, but over the years, we’ve come to enjoy the tradition of having a living Christmas tree. We like watching it grow from year to year. It saves us a trip to the Christmas tree lot and we don’t have anything to set out curbside when the holiday season is over. More and more people are opting for living spruces and firs, and then planting the trees on their property afterward.

This season, Ecoyards is offering some new services for the holidays. We’re installing energy-efficient LED lighting on customers’ homes, shrubs and trees. Along with that, we deliver living potted Christmas trees decorated with bulbs and LED lighting.  These trees are then planted in the landscape at the end of the holiday season. Contact us if you’re interested in these services.

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Calculating energy savings for LED holiday lighting

November 23, 2009 @ 4:50 pm

We frequently help our holiday lighting customers analyze the cost savings that can be achieved by using LED lights instead of traditional incandescent lighting. The calculations to determine the cost savings are not very complicated, but it is a lot easier with a good conversion calculator handy. Here’s the data you will need to perform this calculation:

1. Total number of bulbs;
2. Wattage of the individual incandescent bulbs to be replaced. (C9s are generally about 8-9 watts; C7s are generally about 6-7 watts; and mini lights are usually between .50 and 1 watt)
3. Amount of time the bulbs will be illuminated; and
4. The average cost of a kilowatt-hour of electricity in your area. ($.07 is an average rate for Seattle residents.)

Step 1: Calculate total watts

Multiple the total number of bulbs by the wattage of 1 bulb. This equals the total watts of the display.

Step 2: Enter data into conversion calculator

Enter the product of the formula in Step 1 into the “Watts” field in this calculator: http://mhi-inc.com/Converter/watt_calculator.htm. Next, enter the total amount of time the lights will be illuminated in the “Time” section of the calculator. (Note that the time can be in seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, or years.)

This calculator will calculate the total kilowatt-hours consumed by this lighting display.

Step 3: Determine cost of electricity

Multiple the total kilowatt-hours the display will consume (as determined by the calculator in Step 2) and multiply it by the average cost of a kilowatt hour of electricity in your area.

Step 4: Determine to cost to operate Christmas lights using LEDs

Repeat steps 1-3. The average LED holiday style light is between .05 and .07 watts.

Step 5: Calculate the savings

Subtract the cost of operating the LED lights from the cost of operating the incandescent lights. This is the total cost savings you can expect by switching to LEDs.

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10 Reasons to Choose LED Holiday Lighting

November 20, 2009 @ 3:26 pm

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are a relatively new lighting product. Many people may own LED flashlights or other similar LED lights. However, LED lighting is quickly becoming a popular choice for holiday lighting in the Seattle area. Here are the top 10 reasons to replace your old incandescent holiday lights with LEDs:led_holiday_lighting_seattle

1. Added safety – Lamps always remain cool to the touch. Because holiday lighting is often used in close proximately to combustible materials (dry evergreen trees) this feature can greatly reduce the risk of holiday fires.

2. Solid-state reliability. No longer will you have to worry about one lamp ruing your whole string.

3. Longevity – L.E.D. lamps are rated for up to 200,000 hours of use while standard incandescent lights typically last for only 2,000 hours.

4. No glass bulbs to break. LED lights are encased in an nearly indestructible epoxy casing.

5. No filaments to burn out. Unlike incandescent bulbs there is not filament to burn out so they last much longer and won’t be damage or ruined if you drop them or step on them.

6. Extreme energy efficiency, uses only 10% of the electricity required to power traditional incandescent. For a typical household this will mean a cost savings of $20.00 or more during the standard 30 day holiday season.

7. Nearly indestructible, solid epoxy lenses. High-quality LED lights can withstand the force of a tractor-trailer without breaking.

8. Rust proof, Zinc-coated lamp contacts. The lamp components will not rust when used outdoors or in moist environments.

9. Uses standard house current (120 VAC, 60 Hz). No need for an electrician or expensive power converters.

10. No transformer required. Allows for simple installation and use.

For these reasons, Ecoyards uses commercial-grade UL approved and ENERGY STAR qualified LED holiday lighting for all of our professional-lighting installations throughout the Seattle-area. Our turn-key operation provides the design, lights, and labor so the customer can enjoy an energy-efficient, safe holiday.

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LED Landscape Lighting

January 8, 2009 @ 7:48 pm

Outdoor landscape lighting has many benefits. A well-designed landscape lighting plan will increase the aesthetic appearance of your home and garden and highlight the features of your property. Landscape lighting expands your living space by allowing you to enjoy your outdoor environment after dark. It also improves the safety of your home or business.

For years the only choice for landscape lighting was incandescent or low-voltage halogen. More recently, LED landscape lighting has become a viable and cost-effective option for outdoor lighting.

LED landscape lighting has several advantages over traditional outdoor lighting options:

1. Longevity. LED outdoor lighting has a useful life of up to 100,000 hours. If you operated your LED landscape lights for an average of 8 hours each night year-round the lights would last for 30 years or more. This means that you can enjoy your outdoor lighting rather than having to spend countless hours changing damaged or burned out bulbs. Traditional halogen replacement bulbs are also expensive so you will save a significant amount of money over the lifetime of the lights.

2. Energy-Efficiency. LED landscape lights are 80% more efficient than traditional outdoor lighting solutions. Over the long life of the LED light this will translate into substantial cost savings. Utilizing an energy efficient lighting option is also the sustainable and environmentally responsible choice.

3. More Lighting Options. Because of the size and longevity of the LED light, several luminaire designs are available that simply were not possible with traditional landscape lighting.

4. The Green Choice. Because of its super-efficiency and long-lasting bulbs, LED landscape lighting has much less of an impact on the environment than traditional outdoor lighting options. You’ll use less energy and create less waste.

If you would like to obtain more information about LED landscape lighting, or would like a free estimate for installation, please call (206-770-7879) or email us (info@ecoyards.com).

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A Green Solution for Your Holiday Lighting

December 15, 2008 @ 10:28 pm

Incandescent lighting has been the standard in holiday and Christmas lighting since it replaced candles over 100 years ago. However, in the last 3 years LED holiday and Christmas lighting has become increasingly available to consumers through the internet and retail stores. Although LED technology has been around since the seventies, until recently its use was largely limited to applications in commercial instrument display panels. Recent improvements in LED technology have made LED lighting viable in other applications such as LED Christmas lights.

LED lighting is preferable to standard incandescent lighting for several reasons:warm-white-set - LED christmast lights

Environmentally Friendly – Because LED lamps use so little energy and are longer lasting they environmentally responsible choice in Christmas or holiday lighting.

Energy Efficiency – LED lamps use approximately 90% less energy than standard incandescent lights.

Safety – LED lamps operate at approximately 1 degree Fahrenheit above room temperature and are safer than incandescent lights which are responsible for over 300 home fires each holiday season.

Longevity – LED lamps will last for 50,000 hours or more compared to about 2,000 for standard incandescent lamps.

Durability – LED lamps are more durable because they do not contain a fragile filament and are covered in hard plastic not glass like incandescent lamps.

Although LED holiday and Christmas lighting is more expensive than standard incandescent string lighting, LED lights will pay for themselves in a few seasons. A household which illuminates an average size Christmas tree with LED lights will save approximately $12 per year in electricity compared to incandescent mini lights. The savings jump to over $70 per year for those who like to use the larger C9 model lights. The cost savings can be even more significant for those Christmas lighting fanatics out there.

A 2003 report conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that the U.S. consumes about 2,220,000 KWh of electricity each year to illuminate miniature holiday lights. (*2,220,000 KWh is enough electricity to run approximately 200 homes for an entire year.) Based on these figures, the EPA report concluded that a 20% market shift to LED holiday or Christmas lights would reduce annual electricity consumption in the U.S. by 400,000KWh. These figures are especially compelling when one considers that this report only took into consideration miniature holiday lights used for a period of approximately 30 days.

HolidayLEDs.com offers LED holiday and Christmas lights suitable for general home use and a professional grade suitable for larger installations. Both types can be purchased online through HolidayLEDs’ website at www.holidayleds.com.

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