We know it’s easy to get sucked into the joy of the holiday season with lights, sparkles, and glitter. However, if you’re environmentally conscious — or just budget conscious — you may be considering what kind of impact stringing a million lights on your home may have.
Did you know that the US uses more power than El Salvador during the holidays? It’s true, according to the Center for Global Development. Seasonal lighting accounts for 6.6 billion kilowatt hours of usage. That amount could run 14 million refrigerators! It’s no wonder that many people gripe about their electricity usage during the holiday season.
Still, it’s possible to keep your electrical cost down, as well as your carbon footprint, and still be festive. Here are some great tips from us:
#1: Invest in low-powered LEDs
We know that the huge style bulbs are very cute and endearing, but did you know that LED bulbs can consume 80-90% less electricity than standard bulbs? LEDs also tend to last longer. Additionally, LED bulbs don’t get as hot, so you can feel safer if you forget to water the tree every once in a while. LED Christmas lights are getting more and more popular, and as they do, more styles emerge and prices go down. Still, would you rather pay $100 to light your house, or $15? It may be time to invest in some LED lighting!
#2: Use a timer
How many times have you gone to bed forgetting to turn out your Christmas lights? Many of us may just let our lights go until daybreak. Still, giving your lights a break during the early AM hours can help conserve precious resources. Use a timer to start your lights at dark, around 5 PM, and then shut them off around midnight (or later if you prefer). Many people who would be admiring your lights won’t be around in the early AM, so save yourself a tiny bit of cash in the process!
#3: Get smart
There’s something to be said about smart homes. Many of us have invited these systems into our homes for ease of use. Instead of using a timer, you can instead allow a smart plug to run on a schedule. You can even schedule that particular routine to end after Christmas, so your lights aren’t coming on just because you haven’t taken them down. Some smart plugs even allow for energy consumption recordings, so you can see in real time just how much energy your Christmas lights are using.
#4: Use less
We’re not here to tell you to use the bare minimum. If you want to go wild on your home, go wild on your home with holiday lights! Still, you may want to consider if you’re going overboard in certain spots. If you’re decorating the back of your home and no one sees it, you may want to consider holding off on that decor until you need it.
#5: Unplug it
The only way to be sure that energy is not being consumed by a device is to unplug it. While unplugging your lights might be a bit more of a hassle than using a timer or smart assistant to control them, if you want to save as much as you can on energy costs, unplug when not in use. That definitely means making sure your lights are unplugged after the holiday season is over, even if you can’t get to removing them until July!
Have any more holiday lighting tips for us? Let us know in the comments below!