All the lights out on yards and up on rooftops, glittering and shining brightly during the darkest month of the year bring smiles to people’s faces. Remember all the smiles and joy after seeing the January electric bill. 14 million refrigerators could be powered during the holidays in the United States with the 6.63-billion-kilowatt hours Americans use – that’s how much electricity is used IN ONE YEAR in El Salvador and Ethiopia.
We can all work together to lower all that energy used at the end of the year as we celebrate with family and friends and parts of the earth become 50% brighter!
Let’s start with the lights. It’s time to get rid of the incandescent bulbs and move to the energy-efficient LEDs. A 100-count string of incandescent mini lights uses 40 watts of electricity. A string of 70 LEDs uses about 4.8 watts TOTAL.
Avoid using 70% more electricity than needed with ENERGY STAR® certified LED light strings. LEDs also reduce fire risk since they do not radiate heat. Plus, they last longer than any other lightbulbs because of their durability; LED lights do not have moving parts, filaments, or glass. Incandescent bulbs and have a lifespan of up to 3,000 hours while LEDs can last around 100,000 hours.
Just like it’s frowned upon for leaving colorful lights up all-year long, why would you leave them on all-day long? Get timers and make sure you’re not wasting even more electricity when people can’t even see the lights! Even better, get a controller with a dusk-to-dawn option and set it and forget it.
Inside your home, consider getting smart plugs as well. These can have set on/off times that you create using a smart phone app.
You could eliminate using your own electricity for your outdoor lights all together by harnessing the power of the Sun. Solar-powered lights as an energy-efficient alternative generating their own power! Just make sure the solar panels are facing South all day long to snag the sun’s energy! These lights generate their power independently from an electricity source, making them a viable option for those living in sunny locations.
Finally, a look at how much, on average, you will save when switching to LED holiday lights. Yes, they will cost more up front, but will cut energy bills by around 70% and last 25-30 times longer!