Will My Outdoor Christmas Light Display Increase My Electric Bill?
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Will My Outdoor Christmas Light Display Increase My Electric Bill?

It doesn’t feel like the holidays until bright and colorful Christmas lights are covering every house on the block! Holiday lights are a huge part of Christmas decoration and we loved them as kids but, now as adults with responsibilities, we’re well aware of more mature concerns.

If you’re wondering if the way these Christmas light displays use electric power from your home increases electricity bills, read on to learn all about it.

Battle of the Christmas Lights

When buying Christmas lights, most people choose between LED lights and incandescent bulbs. Though they both serve the same function, they have very obvious differences that could all affect your final choice.

Incandescent Christmas Lights

christmas lights
Image Credit: Natasha Kasim via Unsplash

These are traditional lighting fixtures that use electricity to produce heat and create brightness. They’re incredibly luminescent and produce soft yellow lighting that’s become part of the Christmas ambiance. They’re unbelievably affordable, come in a wide color range of light bulbs, and are very low-maintenance and easy to install.

Some notable drawbacks of incandescent lighting are that they tend to overheat and also require more watts to work properly. They’re not energy-efficient and have an average lifespan lasting to only 1,000 hours. Due to all this, the industry has started phasing out these kinds of outdoor lights.

LED Christmas Lights

LED christmas lights
Image Credit: Thalia Ruiz via Unsplash

These are a modern light innovation that’s changed a ton about how we produce and consume electricity. These lights are well-loved for their longevity and energy efficiency. They can stay working for up to 50,000 hours and they produce a cool blue-white light that greatly improves the visibility of an area. Amazingly, LED bulbs and a string of LED lights only use half the amount of lights on incandescent strands but produce a similar brightness.

Though they’re wonderful bulbs, they also have some concerns you should think about. They come at a higher initial investment and, if a bulb on the strand breaks, it’ll be difficult to repair and you might have to replace the whole thing instead if you’re past your warranty.

Christmas Light Consumption Breakdown

The big question is not only if your Christmas decoration and bright lights affect your electricity cost but also what the changes will be like.

When we say that an LED Christmas light display is energy-efficient, we mean that it’s been found to consume 75% – 80% less energy due to their stark difference in wattage required. On the other hand, incandescent lights waste around 90% of the energy it consumes because most of it is used for producing heat.

Since the USA bases your electricity bill on the number of watts you consumed, it’s safe to say that incandescent bulbs will make a bigger dent on your electricity bill than if you used bright LED lights.

To be sure, you can calculate your predicted energy consumption with a simple formula. Before you start, you should first know the number of kilowatts an item will be needing to run, how many usage hours you plan for each day, how many days you’ll use them, and the cost of power in your area:

  • Find kilowatt hour value (watts x 0.001 = kwh)
  • Find kwh per day (kwh x expected usage each day = kwh/day)
  • Find kwh per season (kwh/day x 30 days = kwh/season)
  • Find the total cost  (kwh/season x cost of power = total cost)

It may look intimidating at first but it’s a very simple formula that can be done on your phone calculator!

The Eco and Budget-Friendly Alternative

solar powered christmas lights
Image Credit: eliduke via Creative Commons

In the battle of LED vs. Incandescent Christmas lights, a third competitor comes in — the solar-powered Christmas lights!

If you don’t enjoy the bills of incandescent lights but don’t have the budget to invest in high-quality LED Christmas lights, you can find a cost-effective and budget-friendly alternative in solar-powered Christmas outdoor lighting.

Solar Christmas lights don’t affect your electricity bills and are powered by the sun. To save you the time and effort it’ll take to sort through the best solar Christmas lights reviews, we decided to go right ahead and introduce you to our favorite sun-powered outdoor string light.

The YIQU Extra-Long 2-Pack 72FT 200 LED Solar String Lights are fantastic light fixtures that give you the energy efficiency of LED bulbs with the warm charm of incandescent bulbs. They’re surprisingly affordable and come with eight different blinking modes to illuminate your home with some fun.

In Summary

No one needs to be good at science to understand that Christmas lights only work when they have a power source and unless you go solar with our recommendation, it’s going to reflect itself on your next electricity bill if you aren’t careful.

The main concern is between spending more upfront for LED lights that pay off in the long term or using less efficient incandescent Christmas lights to save on initial costs. You’re equipped with everything you need to make an informed decision and the choice is now up to you.

If you have any more questions, comments, or suggestions, please drop them down below and let us get back to you on it as soon as we can!