Celebrating the holidays can become an expensive labor of love, especially for those looking to spread the most holiday cheer. Whether you’re decking the halls with boughs of fresh holly, or lighting up the roof so Santa has a place to land, decorating for the holidays can drain your energy and the energy of your house. After all, the only thing scarier than getting coal in your stocking is the post-Christmas energy bill.
Rudolph the LED Nose
If you still use traditional Christmas lights because you don’t want to buy new ones, consider this: LED Christmas lights use nearly 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, and they’re just as bright (if not brighter). They also last longer and are less harmful to the environment when disposed of. Visually, LED Christmas lights hold a much softer, less intrusive glow. They simply appear more aesthetically pleasing to the eye than traditional Christmas lights.
Christmas Lighting vs. Standard Lighting
Photo by Five Furlongs via Flickr
Once the house’s standard lighting fixtures have been decorated over with a second layer of Christmas lighting, the need for both sources of light quickly dissolves. A Christmas tree dressed head to toe in LED lights will provide enough light to illuminate an entire room, and if lights are strung throughout the house, there’s very little need to keep the main lighting on. Doing so also creates a certain winter ambience that is hard to achieve with a fully lit room. More importantly, this is the easiest way to avoid unnecessarily doubling up on a bill.
Do the Math
Calculating how much a household spends on electricity each month is actually very simple. All it requires is a bit of diligence and some simple math. Calculate the total number of watts in all the items you plan to decorate with for Christmas. Multiply this number by .001 to find the kilo-watt per hour and then again by 5 hours to discover how many kilo-watts are being used per day (estimating a maximum of 5 hours of usage). Once this number has been reached, apply it to the number of days you plan to use Christmas decorations. Lastly, multiply this by the cost of power usage listed on your monthly bill.
Timers Keep Costs Down
Photo by pasukaru76 via Flickr
Timers can be used in conjunction with light strands to alleviate the need to remember when to turn off lights. After all, there’s no point in having a house lit up when nobody is around to see it. Some Christmas lights come equipped with timers from the time they are unboxed. Timers can also be purchased for about $20 if needed. Accidentally leaving the Christmas lights on overnight a handful of times immediately justifies the purchase of a timer.
Understanding Your Power
Decorating the house for the holidays can be a virtual energy siphon when done incorrectly. Companies like Christmas Lights Etc. provide very clear technical information on all of their products, so you don’t accidentally blow up the house with an over-enthusiastic Christmas light display.
The holidays don’t have to be the monetary burden they used to be before the invention of LEDs. When you begin decorating for the holidays this year, keep in mind that a little knowledge goes a long way in saving electricity.
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