Can't remember where, but somewhere on the Internet recently I've seen a piece going on at length about the vitrues of LED holiday lights.
Which is all fine and good - it's worth noting that the colors of LEDs have finally gotten good enough to use for these displays, and that they use less energy than incandescents. But if you really want to put some green in your red and green this year, you'll want to power those LED holiday lights as sustainably as possible, and that means solar.
That's right: Solar is not just for prison water heaters anymore - a company called Eco Geek Living now has a line of solar-powered and eco-friendly products including solar holiday lights, or Ecolites. These are like a home version of the solar-powered LEDs on the tree at Rockefeller Center that you may have read about last year.
At the Green Festival a month ago, Eco Geek Living had a nice display of solar lights strung on a Christmas tree and I stopped to chat with an Eco Geek rep about how the system works, how it turns the lights on and off with a light sensor built into the solar collector, and how much the darn things cost. As she says, the initial outlay seems steep but within a year, Eco Geek claims, they'll be paying for themselves.
You can hear that two-and-a-half-minute interview here (MP3). And remember that holiday displays are meant to be over-the-top, so if you're gonna do LED holiday lights, might as well go all the way and do them solar!