Tuesday, November 25, 2008

LED Christmas Lights

If you are looking at buying some LED Christmas lights for your tree, here's a post for you. Here's the lesson right off the top though, check the LED light color before you buy and be prepared to return it! White is apparently an objective color. (Except that it's not even really a color, isn't it the lack of color? I digress)

I went out to my local Canadian Tire (Canada's glorified hardware store, but different than Home Depot) since they usually have a great selection of Christmas decorative junk. This is the first time Sherri and I have set up our own Christmas Tree in our own house!! So we were excited to get things rolling. We realized however, when we opened our boxes we didn't have enough lights. Nor did we have the kind Sherri or I wanted. So it was off to the store. When I got there I saw these.

I thought, cool LED Christmas lights. Cool to touch, way more energy efficient, nearly unbreakable and - YIKES, a little pricey. I called my wife and we decided it would be worth it since we'd use them for the rest of our lives. I chose the brightest white ones I saw since that's what we were looking for. I brought them home and while Sherri was out running I put them on the tree. And here's what it looked like.

So it turns out that "ICY COOL" is actually "NEARLY BLUE". Sherri came in and the decision was made. Off with the lights and back to the store. We really didn't want to have a blue Christmas Tree!

I really should have known better as I've had this issue with LED's before when I've bought them for our kitchen. I plugged those ones in and they looked blue compared to everything else. I brought them back and returned them saying I didn't want the blue lights. The lady insisted they were white but that's another story.

Anyway, after returning the "Icy Cool" LED's I went to 6 stores trying to find what I was looking for with no luck. But my seventh store, which was Zellers (A Canadian version of K-Mart, sort of) had a great Christmas section and there I found my lights. White with all sorts of flashing and twinkling and blinking options. And I found it for way cheaper than the LED's.

There they are. Definitely much different coloring than the icy blue. And yes, we did put ornaments on after I took this picture. So again, the moral of the story, check the color of your white LED's before purchasing or be prepared to return them.

Sidenote - "Warm White" instead of "Icy Cool" may be the closest to white from incandescent lights. At least that would be true for the packaging we were looking at.

Preemptive Sidenote - Canadian Thanksgiving was way back in October so no, it's not too early to put up the tree. Plus we already have snow on the ground!!


Carla 11/26/2008 1:09 AM  

This is the first year we aren't using our usual huge 7" tree since this rental house is so small. This year we opted for a prelit minitree (3.5"). I'm definitely not going to miss stringing lights this year! I've always wanted LED lights, but I definitely think I'd miss the almost yellowish glow of the traditional lights. Thanks for the "buyer beware". :)

Holly 11/26/2008 11:12 AM  

Did you notice if the LED lights come in rainbow colors? That's what I always grew up with, although Robert prefers all white. So we've alternated each year since we got married... some years all white, some years with rainbow.

Denise 11/26/2008 2:32 PM  

I have had this same issue. My conscience wants to use the LED lights, but I like clear white lights and have noticed the blue look of them...I'd rather not!
I guess I will just have to remember to set the timer so my regular clear lights are buring a hole in the bill!!

Kiwifruit 11/26/2008 4:42 PM  

Sorry, Mr. Lavender, but November is still too early for Christmas. Ignoring the fact that I celebrate the American Thanksgiving, it's still too early. There's no snow on the ground yet, and if we put them up now, I'd be tired of Christmasy decor long before Christmas!
I like white lights better than colored. My family started using whites a few years back, and I like them better. Whoever thought those LEDs were white, must have been colorblind. They're startlingly BLUE!

See you in 17 days.

Anonymous,  12/05/2008 8:06 PM  

i discovered the same problem last year, blue must be the new white! this year i bought warm white ones instead. much better. David

Jan,  1/11/2009 9:58 PM  

I bought LED lights to replace my halogen MR16 bulbs the other day from a website called Eaglelight.com that I would recommend enthusiastically. They had good service (good phone and email support), great FAQs so I knew what I needed, and competitive prices; also, their shipping was fast and the LEDs were as good as advertised. www.Eaglelight.com. Excellent online shopping experience.

Raymond Fujimoto 9/09/2009 5:38 AM  

nice post and thanks for sharing...

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Sandy 11/26/2010 5:37 AM  

hi Hubby just piut our tree up and has led lights on the white ones which Im not keen on. Ive just seen your picts of your tree so down mine will come tomorrow shall get the warm white ones. they actully give me a headache to look at :( they do have that blue look on them

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