SHERIDAN — Sheridan’s Home Depot is participating in a national campaign to encourage homeowners to celebrate the holiday season with more eco-savvy lights. The store is collecting old strands of Christmas lights in exchange for a discount on newer decorative lights that use LEDs.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that decorative Christmas lights around the nation eat up as much electricity as half a million homes.
LED-based light strings can reduce energy consumption and leave less of a carbon footprint and also a smaller energy bill for the homeowner.
Incandescent light wattage is generally 80-90 percent more than a comparable LED product. An average incandescent mini light draws approximately 0.408 watts of electricity per hour, while a 5mm LED produces nearly identical light on only 0.069 watts. To calculate how many watts are necessary to power a strand of lights, one must multiply the number of bulbs on the string by watts per bulb. For example, a strand of 100 incandescent mini light bulbs draws approximately 40 watts per hour, while a strand of 100 5mm wide-angle LEDs would consume approximately 6.5.
Last month, Montana-Dakota Utilities charged $0.03141 per kilowatt-hour of electricity. A Christmas enthusiast with a large house that displays thousands of feet of lights in addition to illuminated icicles from the roof, glowing wreaths on the doors and a few colorful figurines of santa and reindeer would pay $300 for electricity to power the display throughout the season with incandescent lights, but only $49 for the same setup done with LEDs.
Merchandising Assistant Store Manager Kevin Jay said Sheridan’s Home Depot will send the incandescent lights to a regional logistical center for recycling.