How Much Did Your Holiday Lights Cost You?

Everyone loves holiday lights but no one wants to pay a high PA electric bill. Find out how you can geet more shine but pay less next year.

Were Holiday Lights a Big Energy Expense?

Worried those holiday lights are going to cost a lot on your PA electric bill this year? Find out what to expect plus how to save but get more sparkle next year!
Want to dazzle your neighbors with your home’s holiday lights but not pay as much next year? Find out what how to save more on your PA electric bill but get more sparkle next year!

With the holidays come decorations, and light displays are the first thing that come to mind. Maybe you went the Clark Griswold route with as many lights as possible. If so, you could receive a high electricity bill. What a bummer! So how much did lighting your holiday lights cost you? And how can you keep those costs down? 

What Kind of Holiday Lights Do You Have?

There’s a lot of factors affecting how much your holiday lighting cost. The first is the type of bulbs you use. The most common (and cheapest) holiday lights tend to be the old incandescent bulbs. While they are pretty, they use a lot of energy. LEDs are up to 90% more energy efficient, so you can use more lights with less electricity.

Speaking of more lights, the more lights you use the more it will cost you. For instance, a larger home takes more lights to cover than a smaller one. Or you might have elaborately decorated your lawn and driveway. These extra lights can make a difference.

Finally, how long did you leave your lights on? While you may want to leave your holiday lights on 24/7, it can be both unsafe and costly.

How Much Electricity Do My Lights Use?

Now that we know what affects your holiday light energy usage, let’s do some math

Pennsylvania’s average residential electricity rate according to the EIA is 17.2 cents per kWh. Let’s also assume that you used mini lights for your display for your home and tree. A good estimate is 500 lights on the outside of your home, and another 300 for your tree; or 800 lights total.

Using this formula, we’ll figure out how much those holiday lights cost you. Incandescent mini bulbs use about .45 watts per bulb. For 800 lights, that’s 360 watts an hour. At 17.2 cents per kWh, those lights will use 8.64 kWh and cost you $1.48 every day. Over a month, that’s 259.2 kWh and $44.58! In contrast, mini LED bulbs use .069 watts per bulb. That’s only 55.2 watts for the same number of bulbs. The LED lights will only use 1.32 kWh a day, and cost you 0.22. Over a month that’s 39.7 kWh, about $6.83 a month.

It’s worth the effort to inventory the lights you have and figure how much they cost you. Make sure to check your electricity bill to find your rate.

Stay Energy Efficient to Keep Cost Down

So, how can you keep your costs down in the future? These tips can make sure you don’t break the bank next holiday season.

First, turn your lights off when sleeping or away from home. Besides helping prevent electrical accidents, turning your lights off for a few hours a day immediately cuts your cost.

Next, switch to LEDs. While LED bulbs don’t always have the same look as traditional incandescent bulbs, they’ll save you money. In addition, LED lights last much longer than incandescents. So you’ll save on time and money replacing burn-outs.

Lower Your Rates for the New Year

Holiday lights don’t have to cost a pretty penny. But what about your daily electrical useage? Sure there are tips you can follow to lower your bills. But the only way to really save is to get a lower rate from a highly rated electricity provider.

Find a better rate today and save money on electricity year-round at

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