Outdoor lighting displays are a wonderful part of the holiday season. But they can be expensive. This year, replace your strings of incandescent holiday lights with energy-saving LED decorative lights. LEDs are up to 90 percent more energy efficient and last up to 10 times longer than standard light sets.
They also are:
- More durable and shock resistant than traditional light strings
- Emit less heat than incandescent lights
- Offer long-term cost savings
Here is a little insight that should help you keep the color in your light displays while managing the costs.
- Those traditional ceramic bulbs that have been used for decades? They are C7 and C9 bulbs.
- If you have a string of C7s plugged in for an average of five hours per day, it will use about 19 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month. A string of C9 lights will use about 26 kWh.
- At a rate 10 cents per kWh, a display that uses 10 strings of C7 lights would cost an estimated $19 per month, while a similar display using C9 bulbs may cost up to $26 per month.
- The average miniature light uses 0.4 watts per bulb. One string of 100 miniature bulbs only uses 6 kWh per month. Ten sets of these lights operating at 10 cents per kWh would cost just $6 per month.
- The newer, LED holiday lights use only 0.04 watts per bulb, or 1/10 the amount of miniature bulbs. Ten sets of 100 LED bulbs would cost only 60 cents per month to operate. Yes, LED lights are more expensive to purchase––up to three times as much as miniature lights––but they are more durable and have a longer lifespan. LED bulbs pay for themselves over a few years.
Here are some other easy ways to cut holiday energy costs, and to cut costs all year long:
- Use timers for light displays.
- Don’t leave lights on all day.
- Look for holiday displays that have the ENERGY STAR label.
- Use ENERGY STAR appliances for holiday festivities.
- Buy gifts that are ENERGY STAR-rated.
- Use your programmable thermostat to lower the heat when you’re away from home.
- Make a New Year’s resolution to be more energy efficient.