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What Christmas Lights Do To Your Electricity Bill

Starting around the end of November, light usage increases by as much as 50 percent all across Atlanta. And it won’t return to normal levels until the first of the year. The reason? Christmas lights.

If you pull out boxes of lights and start the process of hanging them from your rafters every year, chances are you’re hanging less-than-efficient lights on your home. Buying new strands of LED holiday lights costs money. Surely it’s less expensive just to hang the old lights yo have stored on the shelves? Or is it?

Studies show that’s old thinking.What Christmas Lights Do To Your Electricity Bill

LEDs save you money in the long run because of your electricity bill. They consume as much as 80 percent less energy than incandescent lights and on average will last 25 times longer, according to the US Department of Energy.

A string of incandescent C9 bulbs – the big plump kind that are often used outdoors – use 175 watts of electricity. A comparable string of C9 LEDs use just 2.4 watts. Pretty significant difference.

Of course, there is no guarantee. Lights are always susceptible to weather. And an overeager squirrel can wreak havoc on a string of lights.

But with that kind of savings, there are many other things you can do. Like add more lights to your display.

How can you calculate your savings?

Find out how many watts the lights use. We’ll use as an example a string of incandescent mini-lights which use 19.2 watts.

Multiply by 0.001 to find kilowatt hours – 0.0192

Multiply that by 5, an estimate of how many hours a day the lights will be on – 0.096

Multiply that by 30, an estimate of how many days during the holiday season you’ll be using the lights – 2.88

Multiply by 10.7 cents, an estimate of the cost of energy used to operate the string – 30.8 cents

Multiply by the number of strings – 25 strings x 30.8 cents = $7.70 per month

Plug in your own numbers and see how much you can save.

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