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Info Bulletin

Holiday LED lighting marks B.C. anniversary

The 2013 holiday season marks the ten year anniversary of holiday LED lights being sold in British Columbia. The lights were available for purchase in B.C. for the first time in 2003.

BC Hydro introduced holiday LED lights to B.C. by providing 20,000 strings to more than 50 business improvement associations and hotels across the province in 2002. This was done to help raise awareness of the lights and encourage availability in retail stores in B.C.

Since then, BC Hydro has helped to transform the holiday lighting market through Power Smart. For example, in 2004, the utility held "exchange events" throughout the province where British Columbians traded in more than 28,000 strands of incandescent holiday lights for substantial rebates towards the purchase of holiday LED lights.

This transformation has seen the price of the lights decrease as quality and availability have increased BC Hydro reports that 45 per cent of its residential customers use at least one string of holiday LEDs. On average, those residents have six strings of indoor or outdoor lights in use.

Holiday LED lights offer significant savings when compared to incandescent lights: they use up to 90 per cent less electricity. For example, a typical 50-bulb strand of incandescent lights uses 250 watts, while an equivalent 70-bulb LED strand uses only three watts.

Switching just three strands of incandescent lights to holiday LED lights can save $33 over two months, assuming the lights are left on for five hours a day. In addition, holiday LEDs last ten times longer than incandescents and are more durable, with no filaments or glass bulbs to break.