Are LED Christmas lights safer than incandescent Christmas lights?
Generally speaking, LED Christmas lights are safer than incandescent holiday lights. The primary cause of Christmas light related injuries and property damage is fire. While some of the old style C7 and C9 bulbs can produce enough heat to ignite a very dry Christmas tree or other combustible material, the primary cause of Christmas light related fires is overloaded electrical circuits. Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) has set the safety standard for Christmas lights at a total of 216 watts per standard household outlet. LEDs are safer because they consume so little power it is very difficult to overload a circuit. For example, a household circuit can be overloaded with as few as 5 sets of incandescent Christmas lights. It would take about 40 of the same type of LED lights to overload a circuit. While one can easily put more than 5 sets of lights on an indoor Christmas tree it is very unlikely that anyone would be able to put 40 or more LED sets on a typical indoor Christmas tree. While you would really have to try hard to overload a circuit with LED Christmas lights, you still have to be cautious about electrical fires and be aware of what other devices might be running on the same circuit. It is still best practice to unplug the lights or use a Christmas light timer to turn the lights off when you go to bed or are not home.
LEDs are also safer because they produce very little heat. The average LED bulb operates at just 1 degree above ambient temperature and are cool to the touch. A C7 or C9 incandescent Christmas light bulb is hot enough to burn skin and ignite highly combustible materials. Even incandescent mini lights can produce enough heat to be dangerous. While heat is not the most common cause of Christmas light related fires it is still a real risk and LEDs are much safer in this respect as well.
Finally, LEDs are safer especially for homes with small children and pets. This is for two reasons. First, because the bulbs are cool to the touch they will not burn the hands of curious children. Second, because LED bulbs are make of shatter proof epoxy plastic and not glass there is not risk of children or animals cutting themselves or hurting them selves by chewing on broken glass.