How Much More Do Christmas Lights Add to Your Electric Bill?

    Most people with minimal Christmas lights probably aren’t worried too much about adding on mega dollars to their electricity bills each December. But what’s the point at which light displays start to add up? We’ve done a little research and figured out what it might cost you over the month.

    On average, a standard strand of 200-count string lights runs at 50 watts. An LED strand, which is more costly to purchase up front, will only use about 15 watts, which is considerably less especially when you consider how it adds up over time. So to operate a strand of incandescent Christmas lights for about 5 hours a day for a month, it would cost you approximately $1.73 on your electricity bill. (These figures may vary based on exactly where you live.) For LED lights, a 200-count strand would cost about $.52. But chances are you aren’t just running one strand of lights in your house over the holidays. So let’s say you have 5 strands on your tree and 10 strands outside your house. That would still just cost you just an additional $25.95 for incandescent lights and $7.80 for LED lights.

    So if you’re just the casual Christmas lights user, you probably won’t notice much of a jump on your electric bill. However, if your house is the talk of the neighborhood and you’ve got outdoor lights galore, you’ll probably start to notice a jump in your electric bill this time of year!

    For anyone who wants to cut down on their December electric bill regardless of how much it is, here are a couple tips:

    – Put your lights on a timer so that they don’t run all night long. You can even program them to turn on at sundown and run for 5-6 hours before shutting off automatically.

    – Consider purchasing LED lights even though they cost more upfront. LED costs more on the front end but last 10 times as long as incandescents and use much less energy.

    How many lights do you put up every Christmas? Do you notice an increase in your bill?

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