Holiday Lighting

Holiday Lighting

Bright, twinkling lights are one of the joys of the holiday season. Be safe and take an energy-efficient look at the bulbs you are stringing on your trees and the eaves of your house.

Light safely

  • Only use lights tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Check light sets for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets.
  • Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per extension cord.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become electrically charged from faulty lights. People or pets touching a branch could be electrocuted.
  • Don’t overload your electrical circuits.
  • Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they are certified for outdoor use.
  • Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. Lights could short out and start a fire.
  • For added electric shock protection, plug outdoor lights and decorations into circuits protected by ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
  • Allow plenty of distance from overhead wires when using a ladder.

Light economically

Mini lighting uses considerably less energy than standard C7 or C9 bulbs. Consider using a tinsel-type garland to reflect the sparkle and brightness of your lighting but don’t allow it to touch the bulbs.

Icicle mini lights don’t use a great deal of electricity, but since the strands are typically shorter than standard mini strands, you need more of them to achieve decorative coverage.

LED (light-emitting diode) holiday lights are the newest way to decorate energy efficiently. LEDs are:

  • Sturdier.
  • Safer because they stay cooler.
  • Longer-lasting (10,000 hours when used indoors).
  • More energy efficient. They use up to 93% less energy than standard mini lights.
Bulb type Watts per bulb Bulbs per string *Annual electric cost
C9 7 25 $8.28
C7 5 25 $5.91
Mini 0.4 100 $1.89
LED 0.09 60 $0.25

*Based on one string burning an average of eight hours per day for 45 days.

*Costs vary depending on number of strings and how long the strings are burning.

*Based on 13 cents per kilowatt-hour.

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