Opinions differ on when the holiday lights and decorations should be put up. Some like to start in early November to cover the entire holiday season. Others take a less-is-more approach and decorate mid-December. Two more popular options are to use the day after Thanksgiving or the first day of December as a cue to get the décor out. But no matter when you decorate, it’s ideal to use low-cost electricity holiday lighting.
Is a lower electricity bill possible when it comes to holiday lighting?
In a word, yes. If you’ve been using energy inefficient lights, and have not been mindful of energy usage, you can become more efficient in your holiday decorations. And that can lead to a potentially lower energy bill.
Much of the possible savings comes down to the type of holiday lights you choose. Newer light-emitting diode (LED) lighting uses at least 75% less energy — and last up to 25 times longer — than traditional incandescent lights.
How do LEDs lead to lower energy bills?
LEDs are semiconductors that convert electricity into light. They are the most energy efficient bulb options, and the technology is still developing rapidly.
LEDs emit very little heat. Meanwhile, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat, with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) releasing 80% of their energy as heat. That means LEDs consume just a fraction of electricity that their less-efficient counterparts do. And that makes LEDs a low-cost electricity lighting option.
According to energy.gov, it would cost$0.27 a day to light a 6-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days using LEDs. Using incandescent lights, it would cost around $10 for those same 40 days. If you apply this strategy to all of your indoor and outdoor holiday lighting, the savings can add up.
Other benefits to using LEDs
In addition to their energy efficiency, low-cost electricity LEDs are also:
- Safer. Because they don’t get hot like CFLs and incandescent bulbs, there’s less chance of combustion or burns.
- Easier. You can connect many strands of LED holiday lights together without overloading the electrical socket.
- More durable. Instead of glass, LEDs are made with epoxy lenses, meaning they’re less likely to break.
- Longer lasting. The same strands of LEDs you use this year could still be working in 40 years. Plus, if one light burns out, it doesn’t affect the entire strand. (Read more about the science behind LEDs here.)
You can find many styles of LED lights in stores around the country or through online retailers. There are even ENERGY STAR® certified decorative light strands and rebates available.
What are some other low-cost electricity holiday lighting strategies?
In addition to using LEDs, you can be more energy efficient with your holiday lights by doing the following:
Use light timers or smart plugs to make low-cost electricity lighting even lower
Put your indoor and outdoor holiday lights on a schedule with light timers. It can help avoid the temptation to leave everything on all day and all night.
A smart plug can be connected to your home’s Wi-Fi so you can turn the power on and off via your phone or voice command. Not only can you customize a schedule for your holiday lighting, but you can also easily make changes even when you’re away from home.
Use fewer lights to help reduce electricity bills
Of course, another low-cost electricity strategy is to use fewer lights. That doesn’t mean curbing the holiday magic. Rather, just because you have 15 strands of lights doesn’t mean you have to use them all.
How else can I lower my electricity bill over the holidays?
Aside from using low-cost electricity LEDs, there are many other ways you can use less energy over the holidays to help achieve a lower energy bill:
- Opt for a Crockpot, pressure cooker or microwave instead of using the oven.
- Lower your thermostat a few degrees during the day and use extra layers to stay warm.
- Keep presents, decorations and toys away from heat vents.
- Only run the dishwasher when you have a full load. Ditto for the clothes washer and dryer.
- Enjoy screen-free evenings by the fire and candlelight.
- Keep your garage door(s) closed in cold weather.
- If you’re going away for a few days, unplug electronics to avoid phantom load and set your thermostat and hot water heater to “vacation mode.”
- Let leftovers cool down at room temperature before storing them in the refrigerator.
- Try turning down the temperature and sleeping with an electric blanket or hot water bottle so you don’t have to heat the whole house at night.
Where can I get low-cost electricity all year long?
If you want to work toward a lower energy bill beyond the holiday season, shop around for low electricity rates. Using Everything Energy’s easy comparison tools, you can find the best Texas energy provider and plan for your family and lifestyle. With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to narrow down your options and see estimated bill amounts from trusted Texas energy companies. Click here to get started.