How to Use Holiday Lights in an Energy Efficient Way

Published on: November 27, 2014
Fireplace with Christmas lights | AC Southeast®

One of the most memorable parts of the holiday season is the abundance of homes decorated for the festivities, ranging from a few strands of holiday lights to extensive displays that light up the entire neighborhood. Whether you’re just adding lights to a tree or starting a much larger lighting project, all of the lighting can add up quickly on your electric bill. By planning carefully and using energy efficient holiday lights when possible, you can keep lighting costs down while still enjoying the festive atmosphere.

Traditional Holiday Lights

Although the larger glass bulbs of older light strings may look nice, they waste large amounts of electricity, converting that energy into heat. This not only adds to your electric bill, but the heated bulbs can create the risk of fire, especially on natural trees. By replacing these strings with either miniature bulbs or, even better, energy efficient holiday lights, you can reduce energy usage and help keep your home safer.

Regardless of the type of lights used, wait until after dark to turn them on and be sure to shut them off as early as possible. Consider using a timer to control them automatically.

LED Lights

When you’re replacing older strings of holiday lights, consider upgrading to LED lights. A string of miniature incandescent bulbs can use about 40 watts, while the larger incandescent strings can use up to 10 watts per bulb. An entire string of LED lights, however, can use as little as 5 watts, and they’re the most energy efficient holiday lights, by far. In addition to using less electricity, LED lights last much longer, stay cooler and are more weather-resistant than incandescent bulbs.

Safety Tips

Inspect your holiday lights every year to make sure there are no frayed cords or other damage. Don’t overload outlets, keep the cords away from water and make sure smoke detectors have fresh batteries each year.

For more information about energy efficient holiday lights, or for other energy-saving ideas, contact us at AirConditioningSouthEast.com to find a contractor near you.