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More LED bulbs making holidays merry and bright

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: More LED bulbs making holidays merry and bright
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Federal law mandates incandescent bulbs be taken off store shelves by 2014, but not everyone is ready to say goodbye. Our Sarah Blazonis talked with lighting specialists about how you can make the transition while keeping tradition alive a bit longer.

ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Come the holidays, this house on Kermit Lane in East Syracuse is the brightest on the block and has been for generations.

"I've been putting lights up here since I was a little boy with my grandfather," said the home's owner, Jeffrey Koehler." I remember him up on a ladder putting lights up to light up the house. We're trying to do the same thing, but with a little more technology involved than there was before."

Jeffrey Koehler says about 800 strands of lights went into this year's light and music show he puts together for the Food Bank of CNY. Most of them are LED.

"They shimmer and they twinkle and they fade a lot better than incandescent bulbs do," said Koehler.

"The older lights have about 3,000 hours of durability. LEDs are 50,000 and above," said Home Depot Specialist Michael Goldsmith.

Goldsmith says the Cicero store got a big response to a program that let customers trade in incandescent bulbs toward the purchase of LEDs. The new lights are more expensive to buy, but National Grid says while it costs more than $30 a month to light 250 bulbs of traditional lights, you'll spend just more than one dollar to light 1,000 LED bulbs.

"If we find people who want incandescents, it's largely because they have a ton and they're trying to match up something they already have," said Goldsmith.

Home Depot employees say you have plenty of time to make the transition. If you're a fan of incandescents, just use them in your displays until they're worn out and replace them with LEDs.

But be careful not to plug strands of the two different kinds into one another to avoid overloading a circuit.

Koehler says he plans to keep incandescents as part of his display.

"I grew up with incandescent lights and they kind of hold a special place in my heart," said Koehler.

Allowing holiday past and future to mingle for a little while longer.

For more information on Koehler's light show and how you can help him make the holidays brighter for the Food Bank of CNY, visit ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP