Whether you're looking for longevity, brilliancy, or cost-effectiveness for your Christmas light display, planning to decorate yourself or use a professional lighting installer, understanding the current differences between LED and incandescent light bulbs will help you make better choices for your Christmas lighting needs. 

As most consumers know, in the last decade, a rival to the traditional incandescent Christmas light emerged – the LED light bulb.  When LED Christmas lights were first sold in 2007, they had a range of quality inconsistences, depending on who manufactured them, and were noticeably less brilliant than incandescent Christmas bulbs. 

But, how do LED Christmas lights compare to incandescent Christmas lights today?  After nearly a decade of improvements in LED technology and manufacturing, LED Christmas lights have surpassed incandescents and have become the new standard of performance and efficiency in the following five ways:

1)  Energy Usage.  The differences in technology between incandescent and LED bulbs greatly impact the amount of energy they consume.  The incandescent technique of zapping a filament with electricity so it will burn and emit light, wastes a lot of energy because as the filament burns up, it also emits heat.  LED light technology passes electrical current through semiconductor material, which illuminates tiny light emitting diodes (LEDs).  Most of the heat produced is absorbed inside the bulb.  This is why LED Christmas lights use up to 90% less energy than incandescent Christmas lights.

2.  Cost-Effectiveness.  The higher cost of LED lights is a hurdle for some consumers who have trouble justifying why they should pay more.  Consumer Reports compared LED and incandescent Christmas bulbs to determine the comparative cost of light strings of 50 feet for 300 hours.  They found that while LEDs cost more per string, their operating cost was lower:  1 to 3 kilowatt hours of energy compared with 12 to 105 kWh for the incandescent lights, with an overall cost savings of the LED Christmas lights being $1 to $11 for the usage period.

3.  Brightness.  When LED Christmas lights first came on the market in 2007, they were much less brilliant than incandescent Christmas bulbs.  Improvements in today's LED bulbs have made them equal to or superior in brilliance to incandescents.  In addition, LED Christmas bulbs naturally create a full spectrum of colored light, vs. the more limited painted bulbs that convert white incandescent light into colored light bulbs.

4.  Cool to the touch bulbs.  Incandescent light bulbs not only waste energy by emitting heat into the atmosphere, hot incandescent Christmas bulbs, over time, pose a risk for fire and burn injuries to our hands, children and pets.  Also, the plastic housing of LED Christmas bulbs virtually eliminate the danger of broken glass from incandescent light bulbs.  And from the environmental point of view, when less energy is consumed, less carbon dioxide is produced.



5.  Longevity.  LED technology is more durable and longer lasting.  The Consumer Reports study mentioned early also compared incandescent and LED Christmas bulbs for their longevity.  The LED lights were still working after 4,000-plus hours, while each of the incandescent strings had one or more bulbs burn out before 2,000-hours of usage.  Obviously, the need to replace bulbs and strings is much less frequent for LED Christmas lights.  While most LED bulbs are rated for a service life in the range of 25,000 to 75,000 hours, this greatly depends on the manufacturer, weather conditions used in, length of exposure to outdoor elements.

LED technology has revolutionized the Christmas lighting industry.  The radical differences and benefits of LED technology over incandescent bulbs today may be as significant as the benefits incandescent Christmas bulbs offered over the use of Christmas candles in the early 20th Century.

At Flemings Holiday Lighting we are dedicated to using only high-quality, high-performance, energy-efficient Christmas lighting products.  We exclusively use LED Christmas lights for the five reasons described above.


Researchers say that the custom of displaying Christmas lights began in medieval times in Germany.  During their "Yule" celebration of the winter solstice, people burned a "Yule Log" to light the darkest days of winter, and ward off evil spirits.  This practice was adapted by many churches as part of their annual winter celebrations; but the Christian churches believed the light from the Yule Log represented Jesus, as the light of the world.  Eventually, the custom of log lighting was replaced by candle lighting, and by the end of the 18th Century the tradition of lighting candles for Christmas spread throughout Eastern Europe.

The lighted Christmas tree, thought by some to be the precursor of modern Christmas lighting, was first seen in the 17th Century (some credit the German theologian, Martin Luther, founder of the first Protestant church, with starting the practice).  It became an important part of a European Christmas, and was especially popular among European royalty.  On Christmas Eve in 1832, Queen Victoria, then a 13-year-old princess, wrote in her diary:  "After dinner...we then went into the drawing-room...There were two large round tables on which were placed two trees hung with lights and sugar ornaments." 

In 19th Century America, people used pins, glue and melted wax to affix candles to Christmas tree branches inside their homes.  Aware of the danger, many lit the candles for only a short time each night, with containers of water nearby; however, many homes burned to the ground.  In 1908, insurance companies declared they would no longer pay for Christmas tree fire damage.

Not surprisingly, the evolution of Christmas lighting parallels the evolution of the light bulb.  In 1880, to publicize his invention of the incandescent light bulb, Thomas Edison tied incandescent bulbs on strings and hung them all around his Menlo Park compound during Christmas.  This delighted passing commuters on the nearby railway who were awed by the "Christmas miracle."  Then, for Christmas in 1882, Edison had his associate, Edward Johnson, display the first electrically illuminated Christmas tree at his home in New York.

 By 1900, department stores began using the new lights for their Christmas displays.  After General Electric bought the patent rights to Edison's bulbs, the first ad for Christmas tree lights appeared in the magazine, Scientific America, in 1925.  They were so expensive – $12 a string (about $300 today) – that the ad suggested people rent the lights for their holiday display.

In 1912, a group of wealthy New Yorkers sponsored a public Christmas celebration with a huge lighted Christmas tree.  Their goal was to revive a sense of community they felt had been lost during the fast-paced industrial revolution.  The event drew a large crowd from a variety of religions, races, and ethnicities, who celebrated the joyful experience together.  This event gave birth to a national trend of community-sponsored public Christmas lighting displays on buildings, streets, landscaping, landmarks, parks and town squares across the country.

Historians say that people tend to look for traditions and symbols of hope in times of uncertainty.  In the mid-20th Century, post-Depression, post-War era, Americans embraced the inspirational symbolism that Christmas light displays offered.  At the 1957 National Christmas tree lighting ceremony, President Eisenhower explained the new tradition:  "The custom we now observe brings us together for a few minutes on this one night - you and I are not alone in a world indifferent and cold.  We are part of a numerous company, united in the brotherhood of Christmas."

The evolution of Christmas lights continues – from the iconic Bubble Light of the 1940's to lights that twinkle, flicker, and blink to the beat of music; in recent decades we've replaced our old tungsten lights with more energy-efficient LED lights.

The early Christmas candles, glowing in churches and on fireplace mantels, uplifted those who were fortunate enough to gaze at them.  Today's technology has given us the ability to create huge, computer-controlled, holiday lighting displays, both at home and in public spaces, making it possible for millions of people of every persuasion to be uplifted and comforted by the Spirit of Christmas.

The #1 Christmas Tree on the West Coast

The Noble Fir is deep green in color and has unusually lovely branch shape. Boughs of this tree are often made into fresh wreaths. Its branches are sturdy yet the needles are not too sharp to decorate easily. Like the Fraser Fir, the Noble's branches have good spacing between branches so it's easy to hang ornaments on them.

  • Look of branches: Layered and flat
  • Length Of Needles: Just over an inch
  • Fragrance: Moderate
  • Branch Strength: Strong
  • Needle Retention: Excellent
  • Color: Green with a blueish tint at the base of the needles

Typical Prices

  • 4'-5' Noble Fir - $99.95
  • 5'-6' Noble Fir - $119.95
  • 6'-7' Noble Fir - $139.95
  • 7'-8' Noble Fir - $164.95
  • 8'-9' Noble Fir - $189.95
  • 9'-10' Noble Fir - $214.95
  • 10'-11' Noble Fir - $244.95
  • 11'-12' Noble Fir - $279.95