One of my favorite movies of all time is Christmas Vacation and every time I watch it I always wonder how much it cost to light up all those Christmas lights every single night! Understanding how much electricity Christmas lights use will help you to plan which lights will work best for your home and better prepare you for the increase in your power bill. So, how much electricity do Christmas lights use? It depends on which lights you use and how simple or extravagant your Christmas light display is. Electricity doesn't come free, let’s do the math for a 200 ct. strand of lights that will be on 10-hours per day over a two-month period:
- Cost: 100-ct. strand cost $7.31 ea. Total for 200-ct. = $14.62 (Walmart)
- Lifespan: 20,000 hours
- Energy Use: approximately 15 watts
- Cost to operate (2 months): $2.07
- Cost: 100-ct. strands cost $2.69 ea. Total for 200-ct. = $5.38 (Lowes)
- Lifespan: 2,000 hours
- Energy use: approximately 50 watts
- Cost to operate (2 months): $6.90
But seriously, who puts up two strands of lights? You probably have at least 10 strands decorating your house.
Let’s look at the electric cost to plug in 10 strands for a two-month period (10-hours per day):
- LEDs: $20.70
- Incandescent Lights: $69.00
To calculate, we used 11.3 cents per kilo-watt per hour. The average price of electricity according to EnergyStar.gov
OTHER TIPS ON SAVING ENERGY:
There are additional ways to reduce energy consumption each season. Combine LED Christmas lights with the following to increase electricity savings:
- Timers - Few Holiday-goers are out and about at 2 am in the morning. Use a timer to control how long your lights are on.
- Extension Cords - Instead of using light strings to add length to your display, utilize extension cords in less visible areas
- Creative Decorating – Not everything is about strands of lights. Don’t forget the ribbons, wreaths, and garland.
So while the LED Christmas lights cost more up front, over the long term they might cost you less than old fashioned incandescent bulbs. If you are getting ready to put up Christmas lights, think twice before hanging the incandescent strands. While they are cheap to buy, the electricity to operate them is not. LEDs have a higher upfront cost, but a much lower impact on your monthly electric bill. If you reuse your holiday lights from year to year, LEDs make sense.
- Great for your wallet and the environment - LEDs use more than 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.
- Safer for your home and family - These bulbs are cool to the touch and reduce the risk of burns and fire.
- Savings that last for years - LEDs shine brightly for 10 years longer than regular bulbs.