MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When looking for an easy way to save money and energy this holiday season, you might not have to look further than out your front door.

Xcel Energy says switching to LED holiday lights can lead to a lower energy bill.

If turning on 15 strands of holiday lights for five hours a day, homeowners and renters could save anywhere from about $20 to $100 in two months.

What makes LED, or light-emitting diode bulbs, so efficient?

The Department of Energy says good LED bulbs are not only the cheapest option in the long-run, but longer-lasting, more durable, and brighter than their counterparts.

Incandescent lighting is the most common yet least-effective light bulb out there. It uses 75 percent more energy than an ENERGY STAR-rated LED bulb.

(credit: CBS)

In contrast, LED lights are designed to release light in a specific direction and emit very little heat.

Incandescents and CFLs store more than half their light in the bulb without ever leaving, and 80 to 90 percent of their energy is released as heat, not light.

Xcel Energy offers some safety tips while hanging up those LED holiday lights:

  • Avoid plugging in too many light strings in one outlet.
  • Unplug lights while asleep or away from home.
  • Never toss lights near an overhead power line.
  • Avoid stringing lights on aluminum siding, which can conduct electricity.

You can learn more about different types of bulbs at the Department of Energy.