LED Lights vs. Incandescent: Cost breakdown of running lights

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – We've decked the halls and strung the lights. It helps everyone get into the spirit of the holiday, but many of us turn into a Grinch when we see the power we've consumed to do it.

"LED has been the biggest trend going this year," said Dan Thurman who works for Home Depot.

LED lights have taken the market by storm with claims of major energy savings, but how much can you save in power to offset the heftier price tag?

"Everything that's got lights is following that direction," Dan said.

We compare two strings of 100 white bulbs-one incandescent and one led. This device is a kill-a-watt. It breaks down the cost of running anything electrical. Plugging in the incandescent bulbs, you see it costs 67 cents to run them for a week, the LEDs 10 cents. If you run them for a month, incandescents are $2.88, the LEDs, only 43 cents. You'll spend almost 7 times as much to run the old bulbs compared to the LEDs. The energy savings can offset the cost of the bulbs in less than five years.

"I understand that in the next year or two, incandescent lighting is going to be the way of the past," Dan added.

The LEDs claim to last 10 times longer, plus they run cooler, posing less risk of starting a fire. Dan expects the LED price tag to come down over the next few years.

"If you're happy with incandescent, stay with incandescent. The trend is going to change and eventually those lights are going to fail somewhere down the road, then you'll have to step up to new technology," he said.

If your lights are up and you want to approximate the cost, Dominion has a calculator on their website that lets you know what you can expect on next month's bill.

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