All LED Christmas lights are not created equal
As with most products there are varying degrees of quality in LED Christmas lights. It is important for consumers to understand a few key differences between the LED Christmas lights that currently available.
The biggest difference between LED light sets involves the nature of the LED units themselves. All LED lights flicker; that is, LED lights turn on and off at a high rate of speed. Lower quality Christmas lights using LEDs (which are sold in most big box retail stores) are known as 1/2 wave or non-rectified. Non-rectified LED Christmas lights flicker at a rate of 60 hertz per second. Although 60 hertz is very fast it is still dectable by the human eye. Thus, most people can detect a faint flickering in non-rectified sets of LED string lights. This flickering effect is most pronounced when the observer or the light itself are moving. This is the most common complaint from consumers about LED Christmas lights. So if you are concerned about the flicker look for flicker-free LED Christmas lights.
Higher quality LED light sets are fully rectified. This means that the lights turn on and off at a rate of 120 hertz per second. Although these lights sets still flicker like the non-rectified sets, they flicker so fast that it is not detectable by the human eye. The rectified LED lights also are about 30-40% brighter. The only downside of the rectified LED sets is that they are slightly less efficient. This is because the LED is illuminated twice as much as it flickers at double the rate of the rectified sets. However, the decreased efficiency is nominal.
The other thing to consider about LED holiday lights is whether to purchase a set with replaceable or non-replaceable bulbs. Most of the light sets that were sold in the big box stores last year featured replaceable bulbs. Although LED lights last a very long time and replacement will likely not be necessary, having the ability to replace a bulb seems to be a concern for many consumers. The problem with most of the sets with replaceable bulbs is that the internal components of the light set are not corrision resistant. The nature of a replaceable bulb unit is such that moisture will enter the light socket. If the internal components are not corrosion resistant the light set will fail quickly if used outdoors or in a moist environment. If you prefer a light set with replaceable bulbs be sure that you select a light set with corrosion resistant interanl components. New high-quality LED Christmas light sets with replaceable and interchangeable bulbs are available. These light sets not only feature non-corresive internal components but also allow the user to create custom sets since all of the bulbs are interchangeable.