Colorful Holiday Lights

The True Electricity Cost of Holiday Lights

For many Americans, holiday lights and decorations go up the minute Thanksgiving is over. So many of us take part in this festive tradition that satellites in space can see cities brighten exponentially in December, according to NASA. Of course, all these extra lights mean your electricity bill is going to increase, but by how much? If you’re interested in learning about the monetary impact of holiday lights, read this blog!

How to calculate the cost?

To calculate the impact on holiday lights on your energy bill, you’ll have to know these factors:

  • Light wattage

  • The number of days you plan on displaying the lights

  • The number of bulbs you plan on powering

Light wattage

You can typically find the wattage of your lights on the side of the box you purchase. On average, 100 incandescent mini lights run 40 watts. You could also consider LED lights, which run at less than 5 watts. While the LED option has a higher upfront cost, it’s a great choice if you’d like to save money overall.

Determining the cost

For demonstration purposes, let’s say the average incandescent string of 1,000 lights is 400 watts and an LED option is 70 watts. If you use 10 strings of 1,000 lights, then the total watts would be 4,000 for incandescent and 700 for LED.

If you multiply the total by 0.001, then you’ll find the total kilowatt-hours of electricity. For our example, incandescent lights will be 4 while LED will be .7.

After that, you must determine how many hours your lights will be on in a day. Most homeowners have them on from 5 pm to 10 pm, so we’ll use the average number of five hours. This gives us 20 kilowatt-hours per day for incandescent bulbs and 3.5 for LEDs. Multiply this number with how many days your lights will be active. Most will keep them displayed for 30 days, so we get 600 and 105 kilowatt-hours per season.

Lastly, you multiply that figure by your cost of power usage. You’ll be able to find yours on your energy bill, but we’re going to use the national average, 13.15 (.1315) cents per kilowatt-hour. This will give us a total cost of $78.90 for 10 strands of 1,000 incandescent lights and $13.80 for the LED option.

Tips to save energy

As you can see, purchasing LED bulbs can save you quite a lot of money. There’s also the option of solar-powered lights, which can work efficiently for those who live in sunny climates and cost next to nothing. Combine those options with timers or extension cords (instead of adding more lights) and you’ll be saving even more money.

Contact Electrical Experts

The most important tip to remember when it comes to holiday lights is the safety of your home and your family. For electrical home safety inspections in Chicopee and Hampshire county, contact Electrical Experts. Don’t let electrical malfunctions ruin your holiday festivities. Contact us online or give us a call at (413) 276-4787 and we’ll take care of your electrical projects.

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