What are the disadvantages of LED technology?
Decorative lighting does not require energy efficiency labeling. This unfortunately leads to the fact that many manufacturers of Christmas lighting only sporadically provide information on their packaging. How much energy holiday lights consume can not really be found.
If you are lucky, you will find an indication of the consumption per light source or an indication of the complete output voltage on the packaging. You can then calculate the consumption (even if it is small compared to the old technology: the one who illuminates his house inside and outside in big style, this is possibly no negligible point). In general, it is very difficult to make a real comparison between old and new technology, because LEDs are as varied as they are different in their appearance. A 30 string of lights of conventional technology has, e.g. another light output and other light colors than a similar LED variant.
The terms “warm white” or “cold white” are subject to a DIN standard, but this does not mean that all holiday lights with the indication “warm white” have the same light color temperature (measured in K = Kelvin). In the lighting industry “warm white” equals Kelvin values around 2700 – 3200K.
However, anyone who has been to a lighting department or has recently installed a few lamps at home will be able to confirm that there is a very big difference between 2700 and 3200 K. Behind the labeling, “warm white”, it is hard to guess how the light will look like at home. If you don’t have the possibility to see this light “live” in an exhibition, you can’t guess how the light really works.
Another disadvantage of LED Christmas lights is that you can often only speculate about the brightness. Lumen values, which would reflect the brightness of the light, are likewise not to be found on packages of LED decorative lighting. One could argue that it is just decoration, which doesn’t have to illuminate a room. But would not it be nice to know whether the existing LED holiday lights “disappear” in the dense green of my Christmas tree or at least somewhat adequately “illuminates” it? So you have to take the risk, and try it first and then carry the fairy lights back to the store or return it.
The color reproduction of LEDs is still problematic. Rarely there are LEDs on the market that have Ra values higher than 85 Ra, which would correspond to a relatively good color reproduction. In Christmas lighting there is nothing to be found. However, if you want to put a garland around the chimney, add some balls and decoration objects and suddenly the red balls appear very pale over, it is probably because of that. Admittedly, this is a topic for the die-hard. However, for the sake of completeness we mention it.
Cheap LEDs often offer low brightness, poor light colors (e.g. cold white or greenish yellow light). Additionally they are usually badly produced and LEDs rather fail. With conventional technology it was also possible to exchange a single bulb. In the case of the LED variant, the failed LED must be hidden. Another reason why these buying tips for LED Christmas lighting can be very useful!