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Home Energy Savings | November 8, 2012

Lighting Up the Holidays Without Breaking the Bank

Don’t let electricity costs dampen your holiday spirit. These tips should help you keep down electricity costs (and prevent a power outage) if you’re interested in decorating your home with lights.

What’s the Best Bulb?
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are without question the right choice for holiday decorating. They are far brighter and less yellow in color than incandescent bulbs. They are durable. They stay cool, reducing the risk of fire or personal injury, and they use less power, making them safe for connecting multiple strings without overloading your electric sockets. Better yet, the entire string doesn’t go dark if one LED doesn’t work.

On average, LEDs are less expensive over time than mini or standard incandescent lights.

Inflatables
Inflatable figures of Santa have become popular in recent years, but maintaining his portly proportions by running a fan 24 hours a day will not make you jolly when the electric bill arrives. Consider putting Santa on a timer.

Substitute Some Lights with Other Decorations
Consider switching some of your corded lights with battery-operated LED displays, or intensifying the drama by using more non-electrical items, such as wreaths, ribbons, artificial snow, or by creating a vignette featuring a real sleigh, grapevine reindeer, and dolls dressed as elves.

Have we mentioned timers?
Using timers or motion-sensors can save significantly on your energy costs, not only during the holidays but also year-round.

Check your numbers
If you “go Griswold” with your lighting display each year, you may want to purchase an electric meter or watt-hour meter, which measures the electricity being used. This may cause you to adjust the amount of time the lights are on and possibly to change some or all of your standard lights to LEDs.

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