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The holiday season is a time for family and friends to come and spend time together, open and gift presents, and eat a little too much food (it's okay though, our new year's resolutions are just around the corner).
While you do this, you likely have holiday decorations all around you. Sure, they are cool to look at, but have you ever wondered how much energy those decorations are sucking up?
Well we did. In fact, we just talked about how much hosting Thanksgiving will cost you.
So today, we are going to look at all those decorations and see how much they are tacking on to your electricity bill. You'll also see why spending money on some new decorations can help you save a lot of money in the long run.
Almost all electricity consumption comes from lights. Whether they are on your tree, in your home, on that reindeer, or hanging from your rooftops, your lights can take up a lot of energy.
How much you spend will be heavily affected by the type of light you have. LEDs or traditional incandescents.
Most light bulbs nowadays are LEDs, because they are much more energy-efficient than traditional incandescents. The same cannot be said about holiday lights. A lot of the lights sold today are still incandescents!
To put this in perspective, 100 traditional incandescent holiday lights use about 40 watts. 100 LED holiday lights use about 4.8 watts.
In other words, if you want a quick way to save money this holiday season on your energy bill, make sure all your decorations have LED lights!
For all of our measurements, we will be using these lights for 12 hours a day for 30 days. We will be using these two formulas below to get the kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage of each.
After that, we will be using the US average for electricity rates at $0.12 per kWh, to see how much all of these decorations will add to your bill.
If those lights are incandescent, you will use about 57.6 kWh during your holiday season, or cost you about $6.91.
If they are LEDs, you will use about 6.9 kWh or cost you about $0.83.
A lighted wreath usually has about 50 lights.
Incandescents will use about 7.2 kWh or cost you $0.86.
LEDs will use about 0.86kWh or cost you $0.10.
As you can see, the number of lights on a decoration will usually determine how much energy it uses.
To cover the rest of your lights, the ones that are outdoors, indoors, and in your other decorations, we will use an average of 1,000 lights. Of course, your usage will go up and down depending on how many lights you do use.
At 1,000 lights, incandescents will use about 144 kWh, adding $17.28 to your electric bill.
The same number of LEDs will use around 17.28 kWh and add $2.07 to your electric bill.
Lights are not the only way you can contribute to that electric bill.
If you have an inflatable Santa or snowman, you need the power to keep the air running through it.
Some inflatables are reported to use 200-watt motors. That puts your inflatable cost at 72 kWh or $8.64 for the holiday season.
As you can probably already tell, whether or not you are using incandescent or LED light bulbs will heavily affect your bill.
If you are using incandescent light bulbs, that puts an added $33.69 on your electric bill.
If you are using LEDs, it will cost you $11.64. This saves you $22.05 during the holiday season.
And this is just using the numbers from above. If you are someone who goes all out on lights, your savings will become even more drastic.
However, if you live in an energy deregulated state and want to save on your electricity bill without changing your usage, you can switch electricity suppliers through ElectricityRates.com. Just type in your ZIP Code, pick a plan, and save!