• Intralux Electric

How Christmas Lights Affect Your Electric Bill

The time of year has come again when it is time to decorate your home for Christmas! For the majority of homeowners, this process takes place both inside and out.

In fact, it has been recorded that the light intensity in American suburbs increases by as much as 50% from Black Friday until the end of the year. According to NASA, this phenomenon is so powerful that their satellites can observe this change directly from space!

While all this additional lighting and decoration brings great joy to the Christmas season, we were wondering; how does it impact electric bills?

There are a number of factors that weigh into how much this will impact your electric bill.

Your total display size: Do you have a normal, heavy, or intense setup?

Your choice of bulb: incandescent vs. LED

Take for example your choice of bulb. If you are using incandescent bulbs, it can be as much as 90x greater in cost to power than an LEDs!

For the purposes of comparison, we will dive into the average cost for normal, heavy, and intense setups.

Normal Light Setup

According to Christmas Lights Etc, a normal setup consists of:

  • 1-3 Wreaths

  • A garland

  • Around 10 strings of lights

If using incandescent bulbs, this will amount to around 630 watts consumed throughout the holiday season. This would amount to a total of about $11. If using LED bulbs, the cost is a fraction throughout the season, amounting to just about $1.60.

Incandescent Cost: $10.78

LED Cost: $1.63

Heavy Light Setup

The heavy Christmas decorator will typically go a little above and beyond for their setup. This setup can consist lining the driveway and roof with lights, wrapping outdoor trees with lights, adding a wreath to the front door, and possibly even lighting walkways with trees or something of the sort.

As you can likely imagine, this setup will consume a significantly higher amount of power to illuminate. Incandescent bulbs can consume around 6,800 watts for this setup resulting in about $115 in cost. Amazingly, if using an LED setup it will consume, on average, around 900 watts costing only $15.

Incandescent Cost: $115

LED Cost: $15

Intense Light Setup

An intense light setup is one that will attract visitors. This Griswold like setup, draws in visitors to embrace its overwhelming and unique display.

While the intense setup will include all of that which a normal or heavy setup utilizes, it will include much more as well. You can expect to see lights on nearly every inch of the home, decorations and inflatable characters and trees throughout the yard, and possibly themed music.

This setup can consume an astounding 18,000 watts of power if using incandescent bulbs. This intense setup would therefore cost about $310 on average for that type of bulb. If utilizing LED bulbs, the consumption would be about 2,300 watts and cost a mere $40.

Incandescent Cost: $310

LED Cost: $40

Final Words

Whether you are planning a normal, heavy, or intense setup this year, it is obvious that LED bulbs are the way to go. Not only do they consume 80-90% less energy, they will give your home a more vibrant look. LED bulbs last up to 100,000 hours while incandescents typically last for about 3,000.