Light Up for the Holidays

The 2020 yuletide season could be a breakout year for outdoor decorating, predict trend watchers.

Home decorated with red and white Christmas lights“I think we’ll see more homes with festive lighting displays,” said Greg Brooks, Walton EMC’s community and public relations director. “It’s an ideal way to express the holiday spirit since we can’t invite as many friends and neighbors into our homes this year.”

With today’s energy-efficient holiday light options, Walton EMC customer-owners can take their decorating to new heights — without worrying about their electric bill doing the same. Frank Skinner, director of marketing for Alpharetta-based Christmas Lights, Etc. offers these tips to help you light up for the holidays.

Load Up on LEDs

Energy efficiency is the main attraction of LED holiday lights, said Skinner. “They consume 80 to 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, which means people can more easily create much larger light displays now without the electrical challenges that come with incandescent lights.”

Beyond superior energy efficiency, LED holiday lights are also substantially longer-lasting than their incandescent counterparts. Quality LED lights work for up to 100,000 hours, versus 3,000 hours for incandescent lights.

The sturdy construction of LED lights is another point in their economic favor. Many are made with durable acrylic lenses, not glass, making them much more resistant to breakage.

According to energy.gov, LED holiday lights are also easier to install. Up to 25 strings of LEDs can be connected end-to-end without overloading a wall socket.

Be Weather Wise

Moisture and electricity don't mix, so invest in lights that are rated for outdoor use. Also, buy accessories that keep your products looking good and well conditioned, like hanging clips and stakes. Resist the urge to affix lights to the roof with a staple gun, which can damage the light string.

Map it Out

There are plenty of outdoor decoration products to help you realize your creative vision, whether it’s simple or grandiose. Once you’ve settled on a look, map out what goes where. This will help you gather the equipment and supplies you’ll need. Don’t forget to identify the locations of exterior electrical outlets as you make your plan.

Limit Light Time

Put your lights on a timer to save money on your electric bill. Schedule lights to run no more than 5 hours daily.

Once your outdoor decorations are up, share the joy of the season with others. Walton EMC is conducting its Merry and Bright poll to find homes and businesses within the co-op’s service area that are decorated with Christmas lights, lawn ornaments and dazzling displays of holiday cheer. Visit the co-op’s Facebook page to nominate your handiwork or that of a neighbor. Then, stay tuned to the results of the 2020 lighting poll that will be announced in December.