Merry & Bright
Decking the halls with festive lights is a staple for the holiday season; however, the energy it takes to power these little lights might cause you to lose your holiday cheer when the electric bill arrives in January. Walton EMC home energy specialist Rigs Santos offers these tips for keeping your holiday lighting merry, bright — and energy efficient!
1. Switch to LED Lights
Replace older incandescent lights with Energy Star Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Strands. LED lights consume 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer. You can still get the look of cozy lighting with LEDs — just look for “warm white” on the label. Unlike older strands, LED lights give off virtually no heat, making them safer for kids and pets (and reindeer). They are easier to install — up to 24 strings of LEDs can be connected end-to-end without overloading a wall socket and have no filaments or glass to break. Best of all, the cost of LED lights has come down, making them more affordable.
2. Invest in a Timer
You can customize the settings on your timer to turn on lights when it gets dark and shut them off when you go to bed. Really into gadgets? Invest in a smart plug, so you can program and control your holiday lights from your smart phone.
3. Use Fewer Lights
Check your inner Clark Griswold and resist the urge to light up the entire neighborhood. Cut down on the number of strings of lights you use, and put outdoor lights only where they can be seen.
4. Check Strands
Always inspect lights for frayed wires and any damage. Frayed lights are less efficient and pose a considerable safety risk.
5. Go Solar
Even on a wintry day solar lights can soak up enough sun to illuminate an outdoor Christmas tree without the need for an electricity supply, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
6. Limit Secondary Lighting
A brightly lit Christmas tree always looks more impressive when it's the only light source in the room. Turn off other lights in the room so the tree can be fully enjoyed and energy usage can be limited.