Many of you starting to decorate the outside of your homes for the holidays if you haven’t done so already. But the cost of running all those lights could put a big dent in your wallet. We have some tips on how you can save this holiday season.
This is the time of year you’re looking to decorate the house and trim your Christmas tree. If you’re a big decorator, you’ve probably noticed a big spike in your electric bill this time of year. But with improvements in LED lighting technology recently, you can actually save a lot of money now.
When you’re in the store shopping for Christmas lights, LED lights are right there next to the traditional incandescent lights, but they do indeed cost a little more. The question is, what do LEDs give you for that money?
In a nutshell, LEDs don’t have filaments or glass, so if you drop them, they’re not going to break. They last a lot longer and they’re cool to the touch so that there’s less of a risk of a fire or shock.
As for energy savings, in an independent test, both types were hooked up to an electric meter. Turning on the LED lights barely made the wheel move at all. But when switched to the incandescents, the wheel began to spin away. And in real life terms, that is money being thrown in the trash.
Let’s say you want to light a 6 foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days. If you do that with LED lights, you will pay 27 cents in electricity. If you do that with incandescent lights, you’ll pay $10. Now that is a huge difference!
So the extra money you spend on LEDs, you make back on your power bill. And as an added bonus, LED lights can do tricks. You can buy types can dim, color-shift or even be controlled with your smartphone.
Consider boxing up your old incandescent Christmas lights and take them to your local hardware store such as Lowes, Home Depot or Ace Hardware. Ask if they are offering a Christmas light exchange. Hardware stores understand the need for energy reduction so it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Finally, here’s a safety tip. No matter what kind of lights you’re using, remember, you’re running electricity into what is essentially a big piece of kindling. So if there’s any fraying or breaking of these wires, just throw the whole strand away and don’t use them — it’s a fire hazard.