A couple of notes from the Minnesota home front, on the eve of Christmas eve.
Not being ready nor willing to break with the Christmas light tradition, I invested in LED Christmas lights this year. We are pleased with the appearance of the lights on the house. They really have a nice colorful light. One of the strands has already stopped working, so perhaps they are not quite as durable as I had hoped. Because of so much snow on the roof, I won't be able to try and fix the lights until spring.
We also bought indoor LED's to decorate the tree. I really like them -- they burn very cool, and the light is a nice quality.
As an experiment, I bought 60' of solar powered outdoor lights to decorate the fence in our front yard. As I expected, this experiment hasn't gone quite so well. Here in Minnesota, we are at our solar minimum right now, so the batteries do not charge well even though I tried to angle the panel as far to the horizon as I could. We get a few hours of illumination out of the solar Christmas lights, but they are not very brilliant. I plan to leave 'em out through the spring, and this summer will move them to a tree in the back yard, just for fun. I'll look forward to seeing how they perform in the summer, when we have light from about 5 am to 10 pm.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.