Just some quick holiday lighting facts to make your season greener and brighter:
- Holiday lights are electronic waste and can often times be recycled if an electronics recycler will take them.
- Uncooperative holiday lights might not be broken beyond repair and can often be fixed with a little time and effort.
- LED lights will save you big bucks on electricity versus traditional lights.
‘Tis the Season for Decorating Angst
Putting up holiday lights, plugging them in, taking a deep breath and hoping they all light up is tradition this time of year. Lights we reuse year after burn out eventually. Sometimes it’s one bulb, other times the entire strand fails to ignite.
Try Fixing Them First
Lights might not be functioning for simple reasons that can be easily fixed. A few reasons for uncooperative lights:
- Burnt out fuse
- Loose/Bad connection
- Bad/ Burnt-out Bulb
Try fixing these issues first before deciding to ditch your lights. It’ll save you money and a trip to the store. This site has good tips for fixing holiday lights.
If There’s No Bringing Them Back…
So you tried your best to resuscitate your strands to no avail. What now? For starters, save a strand or two as “donors” for when other strands have similar issues and you need a few spare parts and bulbs.
For everything else, recycle your lights with a certified e-Stewards recycler who takes holiday lights. Recyclers in different states have different rules regarding what they can take, but check with a certified e-Stewards recycler in your area and keep electronic waste like holiday lights out of landfills when possible.
Make an Investment In a Bright Future
Traditional, incandescent lights only last about 1,000-1,200 hours. LED lights on the other hand:
- Last 4,000 hours
- Are cooler to the touch
- Use only a fraction of the energy incandescent lights use
While the initial investment in LED lights is higher than traditional lights, they pay for themselves over time—usually within the first year, depending on usage with their longevity and energy conservation.