The saying goes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” However, often times it feels like the most consumptive time of the year. Not being one much for holiday decorations, I was a bit reserved when my wife started decorating the house a few years back. The string of lights was overwhelming to someone who didn’t grow up with them. Last year we decided to replace the mini-bulbs with LED lights. Home Depot was offering a $3 coupon toward the purchase of one set of new LED lights when customers brought in older, less efficient holiday lights to be recycled.
The only problem with taking advantage of this last year was that the promotion ended before we made it into the store. This year’s coupon offer is no different. Home Depot is only offering the discount until this Sunday, November 14th (it started last Thursday, the 4th). With a reminder on the calendar and a bag full of inefficient (and potentially toxic lights), we were given two coupons, each good for up to five sets of lights.
In addition to four boxes of LED holiday lights, we bought one string of solar powered lights. The small photovoltaic array is connected to a lithium-iron battery and has powered our lights for the past few nights, despite the lack of bright sun on Tuesday and Thursday in the Denver area. While the cost may be a bit prohibitive (the string of 100 lights with the photovoltaic array was $22 before the coupon), it is a small step toward reducing our energy consumption during the holidays. As for the four boxes of 50 LED lights, we were able to save roughly 50% of the cost by recycling our old lights. Because of this savings (as well as the return on our investment from having more efficient LEDs), we were willing to spend a few extra dollars on the solar powered lights.