Christmas is never complete without the big, bold decorations and the colorful lights. You can see these in homes, public places, and commercial establishments even weeks before Christmas arrives.It is said that some 105 million American homes celebrate Christmas, and most homeowners go all out in decorating with lights.
According to the Center for Global Development, the U.S. spends 6.6 billion kilowatt-hours on lighting up their trees and homes during the holidays. This kind of power is enough to make 14 million household refrigerators run at the same time. It is also more electricity than what El Salvador, a Central American country with 6.3 million people, spends in an entire year.
How much power do Christmas lights consume?
In terms of money, that’s roughly $3.78 billion spent per day or $170 billion over the span of 45 days. There is nothing wrong with decking out your home in colorful and bright lights, as long as you know which kinds to use.
With American homes spending 43 kilowatts of power in an hour for Christmas lights, many do not realize that their holiday power consumption ends up to more than what they spend the entire year. Just one strand with 100 mini lights can set you back 45 watts of power.
Imagine that each Christmas tree uses at least 10 strands of these lights, not to mention the other strings of lights added to the garden, the patio, or the outline of your house. Outdoor lights are another story. They consume about 500 watts of power for every strand containing 100 lights.
A house with two floors can use up 20 strands of outdoor lights, which easily equals 10,000 watts of electricity. It would have been cheaper to use an electric furnace to warm up a 1,500-sq ft home compared to all the power used for these lights.
Another big energy guzzler is the Christmas decor. During the holidays, homeowners bring out the Santas, reindeers, sleds, snowmen, and angels from the attic and make them the star of their front yard or lawn.
The blinking or dancing lights eat up 120 watts of energy. Icicle lights, on the other hand, consume 6,056 watts for every 95 lights. Most homes use this to line their gutters with at least three strands. The equivalent power consumed is what you would use to do 50 loads of laundry.
Switching to a more eco-friendly alternative
Switching to LED lights is a more affordable option. Not only do they consume less energy, but they also last a long time and do not need replacement. In states like Utah, homeowners hire Christmas light installation professionals to install LED lights, which can be used for the whole year.
These systems are integrated with the home WiFi or can be controlled via a smartphone. The quick access means the lights will only be on for a specific number of hours and not left on an entire night.
These near-invisible lights can hardly be seen during the day, which means you can keep it there all months of the year. You can use your energy-saving lights for parties, celebrations, and other gatherings while not worrying about how much electricity you are consuming while the lights are switched on. It is a good way to help spread holiday cheer without spending too much.