Deck the halls with LEDs
It’s a shame that holiday lighting can lead to higher energy bills, but the good news is there are strategies that can save you money without dampening your holiday spirit!
One of the best ways to save energy is LED lights, which use about 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs. The amount of money you can save depends on a lot of factors, including your electric rate and how many hours your holiday lights are turned on.
The reason incandescent bulbs are so inefficient is that 100% of their energy is heat, and the byproduct is light. LEDs, by contrast, convert virtually all their energy to light. This means up to 20 strings of LED lights can be linked together, whereas incandescent sets are typically limited to between three and five strings in a chain. The efficiency of LED lights also makes them safer because they generate so much less heat.
Aside from their energy efficiency, LED lights can last longer—around 200,000 hours or more, which is about 25 times longer than incandescent lights. The bulb is more durable because it is made of an epoxy instead of glass.
But not all LEDs are created equal. An LED that is not designed properly can flicker, change color or draw power even when it’s turned off. To avoid these problems, purchase ENERGY STAR®-rated LEDs. To qualify for the ENERGY STAR rating, LED products must use 75% less energy than incandescent lighting and pass a number of additional tests.
Innovative decorating ideas can make your display more dynamic and interesting, which might help you get by with fewer lights. For maximum effect with the smallest amount of energy use, try distributing the lighting across a broader space. In the spaces between light, add reflective ornaments and decorations to increase the effect of the lights and add interest.
We hope these tips help raise your holiday spirits without giving you the budget blues in January!