Energy Efficient Holiday Lighting Tips | The Light Lab

Energy Efficient Holiday Lighting Tips

Thinking about some Do-It-Yourself (DIY) home improvement projects for your Texas home, but you’re not really sure about what to do or where to start? You’ve come to the right place! Welcome to the DIY Energy Efficiency Tips series from First Choice Power. We’ll show you how to improve the energy efficiency of your home, including hints that make the jobs easier.

How to Decorate Your Home with Holiday Lights While Staying Energy Efficient

Everyone loves lighting up their homes for the holidays. Whether it’s inside your home along the fireplace, or on your front lawn decorating your trees and bushes, many love decking out their homes with all kinds of holiday lighting. However, what most people don’t love is the surge in their electricity bill after all the holiday cheer and lights are gone. When it comes to holiday lighting, the trick is to do it so that it’s both tasteful and energy efficient.

So we’ve gathered some tips to help you save on your electricity bill while still being in the holiday spirit!

1) Use LED Lights

Energy Efficient Holiday Lighting Tips | The Light Lab

It’s well known that incandescent lights use far more electricity than LED lights. That’s because incandescent light bulbs use more energy producing heat than it does light. This happens because the electricity heats up the bulb’s tungsten wire until it begins to glow and produce light. LEDs on the other hand, use solid state chips that use electroluminescence to convert about 90% of its electricity into light. There’s very little heat involved in this process so LEDs are coated in clear epoxy instead of glass. Because there’s so little heat, LEDs can last years.

How do LEDs compare with incandescent light?  

A regular 50 bulb incandescent mini light set costs $10.95 and will eat 20.4 watts. No more than 10 sets can be strung together (not to exceed 210 watts) so that gives you 500 lights using 210 watts/hour

A similar set of 50 LED minilights costs $9.99 and will use just 4.8 watts. You can also connect 43 sets together for a total of 206 watts. That gives you 2,150 lights using just 206 watts/hour.

Not only do LED lights give you more lights for less electricity, they also cost about $1 less now! Recycle those old incandescent light sets right away and get some new LED holiday lighting sets.

2) Set Timers For Your Lights

Now that you’ve set up a fantastic holiday LED lighting display, you’re probably not going to want to leave it on all night long. Particularly because in most neighborhoods, there’s not too many folks out and about at 2:30 ooh-ing and aaawwwing at the lighting displays. Also because you don’t want to pay for electricity that no one is using or admiring (kind of like leaving the lights on when you leave a room). Assuming your power needs are simple, you’ll want to connect the light strings to some sort of timer (15 amps is the most commonly sized rating). The types of timers range from simple, old fashioned mechanical to smart home integrated timers that you can set up and control with your smart device.

3) Keep Other Lights Off

If you’re the kind of person who decks the inside and outside of your home with holiday lighting, then consider using these as your primary source of light at night time. Especially if you’re using LED lights, your holiday lights may be bright enough on their own. This will help you save money on your electricity bill AND help your home look more festive and cozy!

4) Use Other Forms of Decoration

Energy Efficient Holiday Lighting Tips | The Light Lab

Putting up holiday lights aren’t the only way to be festive during the holiday season. From ornaments to tinsels to wreaths, ribbons and more, there are lots of different ways to deck out your house without plugging into an outlet. Need inspiration? Check out our previous blog post for 7 different ways to decorate your home or apartment with green and budget friendly decorations!

With our help, we hope you can be festive and energy efficient this holiday season!

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Vernon Trollinger is a writer with a background in home improvement, electronics, fiction writing, and archaeology. He now writes about green energy technology, home energy efficiency, the natural gas industry, and the electrical grid.