Just how much power do all those Christmas lights use.

Just how much power do all those Christmas lights use.

Christmas is right around the corner with houses around the UK converted into pockets of festive joy and a bright glow of red, green, and white string lights. Whilst it is a beautiful time-honored tradition they are also a potential sharp spike (1) on your bill. So how do we make an honored tradition light on our energy bills?

How much energy do Christmas lights really use?

When you decorate your Christmas tree with those pretty little string lights, you don't really think how much is really used. But the truth is the average Christmas light uses around 25 watts per each strand with about 100 lights per strand. (2) That might not sound like a lot, but it quickly adds up considering that your Christmas tree requires about 10 strands of these lights. This rounds up to 250 watts, which is more than what’s consumed by your flat screen LCD TV.(3) There was a study that found festive lights had actually accounted for 6.6 billion kWh of electricity consumption every year in the US. (4) That is enough to run 14 million refrigerators and enough to provide electricity for the whole of El Salvador, where the Central American country’s consumption was 5.9 billion kWh in 2016. (5) That is a lot of energy spent!

The financial cost

It’s clear how much energy is being spent every year on Christmas lights, but how does that really affect you and your pocket? Let’s put it this way the average house will have their Christmas lights up from December 9 to January 4 - this means 27 days of decorations. It was found that for a standard household to run seven strings of 100 incandescent lights for six hours per day, the cost of electricity would be £8.94.(6) Your wallet is not going to be happy! Don't worry, we’re not the Grinch! We love Christmas as much as the next guy, but those incandescent lights need to be a thing of the past.

So what do I do?

Investing in more energy efficient LED lights would actually only cost you an increase of only 61p over the same period. (7) This is only a tenth of the cost! (Trust us, your wallet will thank you! And so will earth) Why is it so much cheaper? For the simple reason that LEDs only use around 10% of the energy of non-LED lights. You will literally have the exact same decoration and cheer, the only difference would be that it’ll be light on the planet and your wallet.

Published 14/12/2021

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