Energy-efficient holiday lights

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Chris Birrell, Environment Accounts and Statistics Division

In recent years light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have emerged as an energy-efficient alternative to conventional incandescent lighting. Festive holiday lighting has proven to be particularly well-suited to LED technology.

Provincial power authorities report that LED holiday lights can be up to 90% more efficient1 than conventional lights, last at least ten times longer, are less prone to breakage, and reduce the risk of fire.2 Municipal and provincial programs exist across the country which encourage people to exchange their conventional lights with strings of LEDs.3,4

Nearly 30% of Canadian households reported they used LED holiday lights in 2007.5 Household composition makes a difference as to who is using this relatively new technology. Just over one-third of households that are composed of working-age adults and children6 are lighting up with LEDs (Chart 1).

Chart 1 More LED holiday lights in households with children and working-aged adults, 2007

Chart 1
More LED holiday lights in households with children and working-aged adults, 2007

Differences between groups become more distinct when the type of housing is also considered. The 2006 Census reported that slightly more than half of the 12.4 million private dwellings in Canada were single-detached houses and that a little more than one-quarter were apartments.7 For households composed of working-age adults and children, 41% of those that lived in single-detached dwellings used LED lights for decoration, while 14% that lived in apartments used LEDs (Chart 2).

Chart 2 Households with children in single-detached homes most likely to string up LED lights, 2007

Chart 2
Households with children in single-detached homes most likely to string up LED lights, 2007


Notes:

  1. Ontario Power Authority, 2008, Electricity Efficiency Tips, (accessed August 13, 2008).
  2. BC Hydro, 2007, Lighting for the Holiday Season, (accessed November 5, 2008).
  3. Saint John Energy, 2007, Saint John Energy launches LED Holiday Lighting Campaign, (accessed August 13, 2008).
  4. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Natural Resources Environ ment and Conservation, 2007 Holiday Lightswitch Officially Launched, (accessed August 13, 2008).
  5. Statistics Canada, Households and the Environment Survey, 2007, Special tabulation. This release is part of the Households and the Environment Survey, 2007, which will be released more fully in early 2009.
  6. Children are defined as being less than 18 years old. Working age is 18 to 64 years old and seniors were defined as greater than 64 years old.
  7. Statistics Canada, 2007, 2006 Community Profiles, 2006 Census, Catalogue no. 92-591-X.
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