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The holidays are around the corner, and you’ll be joining in the festive spirit by putting up Christmas lights. But how do you save money on your electric bill while spreading holiday joy?
It’s true–Christmas lights can increase an electric bill significantly. Fortunately there are several ways to save on your power bill with your Christmas lighting and other tricks this holiday season.
1. Switch to LED Christmas lights
Buying LED Christmas lights costs a bit more upfront, but in most cases the money you can save on your electric bill outweighs the initial cost. For example, Denverpost.com reports that five strands of incandescent outdoor bulbs added $13.65 to an average December light bill. Meanwhile five strands of LED light bulbs added just 22 cents to the monthly light bill. For five strands of Christmas lights with 100 mini lights, the difference was $3.10 per month for incandescent versus $.60 cents per month for LED Christmas lights.
Depending on how many lights you plan on using and how many hours you will run them for, LED Christmas lights can add up to significant energy savings in the long run.
2. Calculate Amps for Each Strand of Christmas Lights
It’s important to consider safety of your Christmas lighting display. Overloading your circuits can cause power outages or a residential fire. Most residential outlets have a max of 15 to 20 amps. A licensed electrician can assess the load for your outlets and ensure safe installation. If you are planning a large lighting display, enlisting an electrician can provide peace of mind and prevent power problems this holiday season. Use our Christmas light calculator to calculate your energy costs.
3. Avoid leaving Christmas lights on all night
Leaving your Christmas lights on for just a few hours in the evening and turning them off while the neighborhood sleeps is another great way to save on your energy bill. Consider this–running your lights for 4 hours in the evening as opposed for leaving them on for 12 hours per night will cost ⅓ as much on your added energy cost.
4. Use an outdoor Christmas light timer
A timer like this one from Home Depot , allows you to choose how many hours your lights will be on. You can select the timer to automatically turn the lights off after 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours. This is a handy option if you’ll be away from home at the time you would normally turn the lights off, or you don’t want to worry about remembering to turn them off.
5. Use less lights on your outdoor lighting display
If you’re a true Christmas light display aficionado, this might not be an option for you. But the rest of us can cut down on costs by choosing to put up a few less lights. One way you can fill out your display is by using other types of Christmas decorations that don’t require electricity, such as inflatable reindeer or more traditional options that use materials such as wicker, garland, and wood.
6. Use candles for your indoor display
Adding a few candles to your decorations are an elegant option that will save on lighting costs. Remember to use candles safely–never leave a candle unattended.
7. Turn off house lights
While your Christmas tree is lit, allow your house to take on a holiday glow by turning off other lights that you normally keep on. Paired with candles, this can create a low-cost, cozy holiday feel.
8. Adjust the thermostat
Another way you can compensate for the added lighting cost is to turn the thermostat down a bit, especially during holiday parties when the house will heat up naturally with more guests and while cooking. If you’re going on a holiday vacation, remember to adjust the thermostat to use as little energy as possible. This can help even out your December light bill.
Do you need assistance with a safe Christmas light display installation? The licensed electricians at Palmer Electric have been providing power installation and general electrical services for over 65 years. Prevent a holiday lighting electrical emergency by consulting our team of professionals. Visit our contact page or call us at 877-732-1951 for a free quote.