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Holiday lighting can add up on your November and December household power bill. But you can have a festive display for much less. Here are some things to think about as you plan your holiday decorations:

  • LED lights: LEDs are less expensive to operate and work well outdoors because of their durability and performance in cold environments.
  • Bulb wattage: The large, traditional bulbs (may be labeled C-7 or C-9) use four to 10 watts per bulb. Mini-lights use about four tenths of a watt per bulb, and the new LED lights use only four one-hundredths of a watt. The lower wattage the bulb, the less energy it is using.
  • Bulbs per string: The larger bulbs are usually sold 25 to a string, while the smaller bulb sets may have 35 to 200 bulbs per string. Icicle lights have 100 lights per 10-foot string. LED lights have 35-100 bulbs per string.
  • Strings per house: The more lights you use, the more power you'll use. But whether you use only one light string or many, you'll be rewarded with a lower power bill if you use energy-efficient lights.
  • Timing is everything: You can reduce your energy use by running your outdoor lights on a timer pre-set for three to five hours and by using mirrors and tinsel around indoor lights to increase the lighting effects.