Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Better Ideas From Unscrupulous Manufacturers: Christmas, Incendiary LED Lights

"LED Christmas lights don't cut it: holdouts"
CBC (December 22, 2009)

"Holdouts to the LED Christmas light revolution are finding it harder to get replacement bulbs for well-loved incandescent strings that have been passed on within families.

"Steve Walls of Oklahoma has been using the same old-style, torpedo-shaped Christmas lights for years. But to replace the half-dozen or so bulbs that burned out last year, Walls had to visit eight stores before he found any.

" 'They're not the same. They're weird looking. They're sized different and have these unusual ripples. If you have those interspersed with your traditional lights, they're going to look dumb,' he said.

"Many people aren't willing to trade the brighter, colourful halo effect on the incandescent light for the softer glow of a light-emitting diode, or LED. As retailers increasingly stock the more energy-efficient lights, lovers of the classic lights scramble to find them, fearing they will soon be gone from shelves for good...."

Aside from the personal, cultural and aesthetic impact the new LED lights are having, this CBC article points out a safety concern.

Seems that some strings of LED lights sold in America were recalled. They had an unpleasant habit of melting down and setting fire to things. According to the article, last month Consumer Reports said the 13,000 or so recalled strings had probably-ersatz Underwriters Laboratory labels.

So - check for the UL label, and make sure it looks like the real thing.

Related post: More ideas - good, dubious, and strange - at

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