I think I'm going to go crazy if I have to go one more store to buy outdoor Christmas lights. I do not like change, and I've been having a hard time accepting these "new and wonderful" LED Christmas lights. They just don't have the same look. The best way I can describe it is that even though they are "brighter" they are not "warm and cheery" like the traditional incandescent lights. It just looks cold, dark and depressing when I see some of these houses.
Let's talk money... Yes, the amount of money spent for lighting up LED's is much less than incandescent bulbs. On the other hand, you are paying way more for the string of lights up front. I could see how this is cost effective if you decorate the majority of your house, but if it's a couple of bushes, are you really saving that much? I've only had my outdoor LED lights for 3 years now, so I can't say. If they last me a couple decades then I'd say it was a good investment. The truth is, they just haven't been around and out for that long yet to truly determine if they are money savers.
Back to my issue, I just don't think they are as pretty. Specifically the multi-colored LED lights. They have replaced the warm pink bulb with cool purple, and all of the bulb colors are so deep and intense that it doesn't give that warm Christmas feel. My solution is that I opted for white LED lights with a little bit of red sprinkled in.
Here's my issue with white LED lights... Not all whites are the same! If you're a first time buyer, don't just grab a box that says white, plug them in at the store! There is cool white, classic white, and warm white. If you are looking for that warm traditional glow, you are going to be disappointed with the cool white and classic white. The closest match is the warm white.
Another discovery... Many strings of LED lights look cheap. I realized why... Incandescent bulbs had a glass covering to go over the filament because it gets hot. Since LED's stay relatively cool, they have cheap plastic coverings. Light diffuses differently through glass vs. plastic.
My Christmas wish: I am hoping that as they continue to improve the look of LED Christmas lights, they switch to a glass covering instead of plastic, and they work on softening the colors. I would be devastated if these dark, cold looking lights were my only option as manufacturers make less and less of the incandescent Christmas lights.
What are your thoughts? Money aside, do you prefer the look of LED lights or Incandescent?