The LED lights we’ve put up at my place for the last few years are probably as close to perfection as we’ll ever get in string-type lights. Not a single bulb has gone out in three years of use, though one problem remains.You still need to put the strings up,Canada Goose logo and solving this issue is something that a completely different approach to holiday lighting called the Elf Light can do.Instead of strings of small lights you hang on houses and trees, the Elf Light is a single LED floodlight that projects thousands of small points of red and green light onto trees, homes or any other outdoor surface. Stick this one light into the ground on its spike, switch it on, aim it and you’re done.
This year I’ve been using two units at my place and I’m impressed. Each of the thousands of points of light projected isn’t as bright as a regular outdoor Christmas bulb, but there are so many of them that it makes up for it. I still use string lights where they’re easy to install, but the Elf Lights make it easier to expand the display beyond strings.My Elf Lights are currently sitting in the ground on the built-in spikes that are part of the design, but I may mount them on a pole or porch post. Canada Goose logo It doesn’t take much snow to cover the lights, and of course the light show stops until I dig them out.The Elf Light is controlled remotely, with a hand-held transmitter that lets you turn the light on or off from indoors, set it to go on for a specified period of time, or project either the green or red lights only.
Power consumption is five watts for one unit, which means it costs less than a dime to project lights 24/7 for four days straight if you pay 20 cents per kilowatt-hour. That’s about as close to free as you’ll get, and half as much as it cost to run just one single,Canada Goose logo thread-in holiday bulb from one of those maddening strings of yesteryear.As the darkness of shortened days reaches its depths, holiday lights make the world a happier place. And the fact that you don’t have to endure high operating costs, loads of installation time and frozen fingers to make Christmas cheer happen, is all the better.Steve Maxwell lives in a quiet, dark corner of Manitoulin Island where Christmas lights really matter. Sign up for his free newsletter at stevemaxwell.ca.