Some Facts on Christmas Lights!
Over many generations and into the 20th century candles of all shapes and sizes were the preferred Christmas lights across Ireland. The dangers of mixing flickering flames with drying needles from real Christmas trees were accepted in order to make cities, towns, communities and homes brighter places for the dark days in December each year!
The earliest manufactured Christmas lights were made of blown glass or porcelain and appeared on Christmas trees in the homes of wealthy people in the 1800s. In the early 1900s, it was fashionable to buy hand-painted bulbs shaped like animals and flowers.
As you can imagine the general public at first didn’t trust electric lights as a safe alternative to candles, but that changed after US President, Grover Cleveland erected the first Christmas tree with electrical lights in 1895. With more than 100 multicoloured bulbs, the brightly coloured tree got the attention of people across the USA, and illuminated Christmas trees soon became the rage all over the world, —if you could afford one! This year in particular lots of families in homes across Ireland will be switching on many sets of new Christmas lights. Today most of these light will be LED (Light Emitting Diode) which mean traditional lights are no longer used and should be recycled.
We suggested finding a new use for your old lights so why not start today. You will find some awesome DIY ideas for reusing/recycling old lights and bulbs at www.brit.co The team at brit have listed lots of tips with pictures which demonstrate what can be achieved. Whether you plan to turn light bulbs into small vases or cover them with glitter to masquerade as a festive pear, these versatile pieces of glass can be reused anywhere.
Christmas lights can be reused at other times of the year. You and your kids can make some of the lights covers in the shape of Valentine Hearts, Easter Bunnies or Halloween Pumpkins and you have colourful decorations for many different celebrates or festivals
Moving to LED Lights
Today LED lighting offers many benefits and features that were difficult, if not impossible, to offer with old lighting used over many generations. These benefits, include enhancing operating energy leading to cost reductions, longer life and lower overall heat generation. Other benefits include appearance productivity and reduced temperatures produced by LEDs.
Electric Ireland reports that for most people, lighting accounts for around 11% of their electricity bills and switching your halogen light bulbs to energy-efficient LEDs can cut those lighting costs by up to 80%. In other words; the savings with LEDs add up fast.
For each light bulb, you replace with an LED light bulb, you will see immediate savings on your energy bill. So big savings at Christmas.
You can read some LED tips below!
- LED lights usually cost only a little more than traditional Christmas lights and glow brighter.
- By changing to LED lights you will save on electricity during the festive season.
- A longer life span means lower carbon emissions. LED Lights last up to six times longer than other types of lights, reducing the requirement for frequent replacements.
- Strings of LED light can be much longer than traditional lights
- New LED lights generally stay cooler which is deemed safer.
- LED lights now create the glow of incandescent light or traditional fairy lights so you can relive memories of years ago.
- LED lights contain no toxic elements, therefore, they help to protect the environment and reduce toxic waste created by traditional Christmas lights.
- 95% of the energy in LED lights is converted into lighting with only 5% wasted as heat.
Before you buy lights this festive season, it’s important to compare your options and find out the type of lighting which work best for you and your home. Remember LEDs can save you money and reduce energy consumption which is a positive for the pocket and the environment.
Festive Dublin in Lights
Dublin City Council is excited to announce the return of the spectacular ‘Dublin Winter Lights’. The lights were switched on in mid-November 2021 and will remain on until January 1st. This year 21 locations will feature in the form of 2 walking trails around the city that are transformed with colourful projections and lighting displays.
The eco-friendly ‘Dublin Winter Lights’ features 157,800 low-power LEDs, 100 tonnes of equipment and 15,780 metres of cable. Click here for more information and map details.
Whether it’s old indoor, outdoor, coloured or white lights, you should try to reuse or recycle. Old lights and other unused Christmas illuminations should not be left sitting in boxes in the store, shed or garage. They’ll usually never shine again once replaced by newer alternatives. In reality, unused items create unnecessary clutter which will need to be clear in the future.
If you do decide to recycle your old lights please do so in an environmentally friendly way. Recycle IT are happy to collect old lights and other electrical or electronic items or you can drop them off with our recycling team at no cost. You can also drop lights off at your local recycling or bring centre.
About Recycle IT
Recycle IT is a not-for-profit social enterprise providing collection and drop-off services for all types of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Yearly Recycle IT offered to drop-off and collection services to thousands of homes and organisations across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE which includes thousands of computers, televisions, toasters, cables, lawnmowers, monitors, microwaves and kettles.
Recycle IT services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT is supported by South Dublin County Council and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Leinster.
Visit our website for further details.