Apparently they've been around for a few years, but I've just become acquainted with LED Christmas lights, as of a week or two ago, and I think they're pretty neat. They don't use much energy (about 14 watts for three strings of 50 lights), they're bright to the point of being kind of alarming, and they stay cool, so they're a lot less likely to set things on fire than the other kinds of Christmas lights.
There are a couple drawbacks: LEDs don't burn out or break like normal bulbs do, but they do get dimmer over time. They're more expensive1. And (the one that bugs me the most) they flicker. The reason is that apparently they can only emit light when electricity is moving in one direction, not both. When on alternating current, they turn on and off at the frequency of the current, which in the United States is sixty times a second: this is enough to be noticeable, especially when you and the lights are moving relative to one another. Inside, where the husband and I have our lights, this is obnoxious: outdoors, where the lights could swing back and forth or sway with a tree, it might actually heighten the glittery effect that Christmas lights seem to be going for in the first place.
Particularly if one were using white LEDs (actually more of a blue-white: when I look at them, I think of things like class-B and -A stars, or moonlight, or the color of a room which is being illuminated only by a single small black-and-white television), there'd be some glitter. Which is what the husband and I bought, white ones, as it is "not essential to put in the red light."
1$10.00 for a set of 50 lights at K-Mart. This is partially or totally offset by the much-reduced cost of operation, since they use so much less energy than the equivalent number of C9 or C7 bulbs. Some C9 and C7 bulbs use as much as 7 W per bulb, as opposed to about 4-5 W for a string of 50 LED bulbs. If you're inclined to go nuts with Christmas light displays,a the savings in energy could add up very quickly.
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Roxanne, it isn't essential to put you in the red light.
Those days are beyond you;
selling your body in the night isn't essential.
Roxanne, it's not essential that you wear the dress, or
walk the roads tonight for the money.
Whether it's erroneous or right, don't attend.
Roxanne, it's not essential to put you in the red light.
I loved you since I knew you;
I wouldn't speak while under you.
I should say it to you, precisely how I feel:
I won't be shared with other boys.
I know it's arranged; thus, it's been decided
above you. This rendered you mine as soon as I said it.
I won't say this again: I'm in a bad way.
Roxanne, it's not essential that they put you in the red light.
Roxanne, it's not essential that you put the red light in.