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Blog Post Tuesday 27 November 2018

How Much Electricity Do Christmas Lights Use?

How Much Electricity Do Christmas Lights Use?

Christmas is almost upon us and with that, Christmas decorations. Whether you like going all out when it comes to decorations (including your front yard and house) or like to keep it simple (indoor Christmas decorations are sufficient), the truth is, no Christmas decorations are complete without proper lighting. And while Chrissy lights can certainly bring out the holiday spirit, reality can strike right back in when the electricity bills show up. So, how can you enjoy Christmas lighting while keeping your electrical spending to a minimum?

How much do Christmas lights cost to run?

The cost of  running Christmas lights will ultimately depend on the type of light you use. For example, standard incandescent fairy lights consume about 40W per 100 lights. For one home, this works out to be an average cost of $17.79 per 1,000 bulbs through December. If we assume you’ll be using the lights for five hours each night for the whole month (30 days), the cost can be up to $34 dollars more than your usual bill.

On the other hand, LED Christmas lights are considerably cheaper. They should only add about $0.1 to $1 to your electricity bill over Christmas. LED lights are widely used nowadays, and their popularity is due mainly because of its energy-friendly qualities. LED lights consume, on average, about 1.2W to 2W of electricity per every 100 LED light bulbs; which is 90% less than the standard incandescent fairy lights. That said, if you’re after LED lights with extra features (such as the ones that twinkle) the energy consumption can double the 1.2W per 100 bulbs figure - however, even after this fact, LED lights still remain as the more affordable option.


How to calculate electricity usage cost

If you would like to assess the situation yourself and know how much power your Christmas lights are actually using, you can easily work it out. Firstly, you’ll have to know your wattage (which is finding out how much watts you’ll be using). Then, you’ll have to multiply times 0.001 in order to find kilowatt hour. Now multiply by 5 hours a day to find kwh/day ratio, multiply again by 30 days to get the figure for kwh/season and lastly, multiply by your cost of power usage found on your electricity bill (should be a cent figure) in order to get the final cost.

 

Tips for saving electricity

If you feel like you’d want to keep your bills going down rather than up this Christmas season, there are several things you can do keep electricity costs down. Find some helpful tips below.

  • Go solar: Australia is fortunate enough to have Christmas in summer, when UV rays are the most powerful. Use this to your advantage and get solar Christmas lights. While they may be a little bit expensive to buy upfront, they’ll surely be cheaper in the long run, when they won’t reflected on your electricity bill at all!
  • Choose LED: Christmas lights generally last long, but it may be time to upgrade to LED. The difference in electricity consumption is staggering, which translates into more savings for you. While in the past LED lights used to be way pricier (as they were only developed for commercial settings or offices), they’ve become increasingly popular in households, due to their electrical efficiency. In addition, LED lights typically last up to 60,000 hours - which means you don’t have to worry about finding bulb replacements. They also don’t heat up as regular lights do, reducing hazards and overall environmental heat.
     
  • Time your lights: Use a timer to make sure the lights do turn off after you’ve went to bed.
     
  • Use solid lights: Because incandescent lights use more electricity than solid lights, try to stick to solid in order to keep the bills down.
     
  • Be mindful when setting up your display: Obviously, the smaller the light display is, the less electricity you spend - but that’s not the point of Christmas light decorations, is it? The trick is not going small, but going smart! For example, you can put less lights in parts of the house that don’t get much visibility, turn them on only when it’s fully dark and having them set up only for the month of December.

The jolly season is here and with that comes wonderful decorations! Making your home looking festive, pretty and colourful every Christmas is a nice tradition. However, things can take an unexpected turn when the electricity bill arrives, usually months after the merry season is over. Thankfully, by taking certain precautions such as knowing and calculating how much Christmas lights are costing you; choosing lights that are more convenient (such as LED or solar) and being smarter when setting up your display, you’ll be on the right track to avoid your bill from going up.

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