Do these Christmas lights make my bill look fat?

by Susan Gillin | Dec 13, 2016
You can tell the holidays are approaching when customers call with this question: Will holiday lights make my bill go up? The answer is yes. Or no. Or maybe so. It depends on how many lights you're using, and for how long. Just for fun, here's a sample calculation:

Chart showing Christmas light energy costs

So a few lights won't have a big impact. But a big-impact lighting display may nudge your costs up a bit. 

Note that LEDs are more expensive to purchase but cheaper to operate. They also last longer and are cool to the touch. As more and more people switch to LEDs, the energy savings add up.

 Some tips: 
  • If you're using a 15- or 20-amp circuit, you could connect all 10 LED strings to one breaker. With incandescents, it's recommended that you only put three or four on a breaker, so you'd need to plug them into multiple locations.
  • Using a timer that turns lights on and off automatically is a convenient way to reduce your energy use.

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