'Tis the Season To Be Energy Efficient

It’s time to think green when decorating your Chicago home for the holidays, and I’m not just talking about the color of your Christmas tree.
ComEd expects its customers will use more than 180 hours of electricity this month to illuminate holiday decorations and recommends that celebrants replace their traditional holiday lights with more energy-efficient options, like LED lights.
Beautiful LED holiday lights in green, yellow, red, blue and pink.“According to ENERGY STAR, holiday LEDs generally consume 70 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than traditional holiday light strands,” said George Malek, ComEd Energy Doctor. “Some holiday LEDs can pay for themselves in less than five years as a result of the electricity savings, which can help keep a little jingle in your pockets. In addition, they come in various shapes, colors and sizes and are weather resistant for outdoor use.”
Here are some tips from ComEd for being green while decorating:
*LEDs: You can save up to $8 per month and 70 kilowatt-hours of electricity by using LED lighting.
*Rebate: Get an instant $2 rebate on each set of LED holiday lights you buy at ComEd’s Online Energy Store through December 31. The rebate is in addition to the usual 20 percent discount offered on the store’s energy-efficient products.
*Power Strip: Remember when Chicagoland Real Estate Forum wrote about power vampires? That’s when electronics and appliances consume energy when they are turned off. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, as much as 10 percent of a home’s overall energy usage occurs when electronics are off. If you use a power strip with an on-off switch and turn it off to fully power down your decorations each night, you’ll save energy and money.
Here are some decorations around Chicagoland that utilize energy-efficient lighting thanks to ComEd:
*ComEd LED Holiday Tree: The tree located on John Hancock Center’s Garden Plaza is illuminated by 3,000 strands of LED lights from ComEd.
*Chicago Botanic Garden’s Wonderland Express: Outdoor decorations are completely lit by energy-efficient lights. Inside, a 10,000-square-foot exhibit features a miniature train rolling through 80 Chicago landmarks, including the Stanley Cup celebrating the Chicago Blackhawks championship. The event runs through January 2. Visit chicagobotanic.org for more information.

*Broofield Zoo’s Holiday Magic: The 29th annual lighting festival features more than 120 animated light displays and a million twinkling lights. There is also live entertainment, model trains and a train ride, a new dolphin show and professional ice carvers. Dates are December 18-19, 26-31 and January 1 from 4 to 9 p.m. Visit brookfieldzoo.org for more information.
*Lincoln Park Zoo ZooLights: During this free events, which is sponsored by ComEd, zoo-goers can enjoy crafts, ice carving demonstrations, a visit with Santa and more than one million energy-efficient lights. Visit www.lpzoo.org for more information.

trees at lincoln park zoo all illuminated with their reflection off the water.

Aren't these lights at Lincoln Park Zoo even more beautiful knowing they are energy-efficient?