Holiday lighting can add up to $50 to your November and December household power bill. But you can have a festive display for much less. Here's some things to think about as you plan your holiday decorations:
For a printable fact sheet on LED holiday lights, click here.
New Technology - LED Lights!
Are you tired of hassling with tangled strings of mini lights with burned out sections? Maybe it's time to switch to the newest technology in holiday lighting
LED (light emitting diode) holiday lights! They cost more than regular mini-lights, but more than make up for the extra cost in these benefits:
The following chart compares the cost to light an eight-foot tree for 30 days, five hours per day, the average Seattle City Light rate of 8 cents per kilowatt hour:
- Energy-efficient - LED lights use only 0.04 watts per bulb; 1/10th the energy of mini-lights and 1/100th the energy of C-7 bulbs!
- Long Lasting - LED lights last up to 200,000 hours used indoors, (20 years continuous use), and the manufacturer provides a 5-year warranty.
- Safe - LED lights are cool to the touch; no chance of combustion from the cool temperature bulbs.
- Sturdy - The epoxy lenses are virtually indestructible.
- Connectable - Because LED's use so little power, you can safely connect up to 20 strings end-to-end. Important Note: If you connect more than 3 strings of lights, make sure you are using only LED light strings. Do not connect any other type of lights with your LED strings or you could blow a fuse or create a fire hazard. Read a news story or watch a video about LED lights from KOMO 4 News ProblemSolver Herb Weisbaum.
- Versatile - LED light strings are available in many different styles, colors, shapes and sizes.
(125 bulbs, 4 watts each)
(300 bulbs, 0.4 watts each)
(280 bulbs, 0.04 watts each)
Stores that carry LED holiday lights include:
Please call store first for stock on hand. Some have limited quantities and may soon be sold out.
City People's Mercantile
To ensure a safe and happy holiday season, be sure to follow these guidelines:
- Make sure any light set you purchase has been approved by Underwriters Laboratories. The UL Listing Mark on a product label guarantees that representative samples of the product have been tested and comply with applicable UL safety requirements. Also, make sure you get the right set -- for indoor use, outdoor use or both.
- Do not overload electrical circuits. Circuits in older homes carry a maximum of 15 amps or 1,800 watts each. Circuits in most new homes can carry 20 amps or 2,400 watts each. To figure out your holiday lighting load, multiply the number of bulbs by the number of watts per bulb (see above chart). Be sure to include house lamps, appliances and other electrical equipment on the same circuit.
- Before you decorate, check light sets for frayed wires, damaged sockets or cracked insulation. If you find defects, replace the entire set.
- Avoid fire by keeping your natural tree well watered and keeping extension cords and light sets away from the water. Light the tree only when you are at home and awake to enjoy it. Keep a fire extinguisher handy and your smoke detectors in good working order.
- Unplug indoor tree lights before watering the tree, and turn off all electrical decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
- For outdoor lighting, use a ground fault circuit interrupter on each circuit. If current leaks through frayed or damaged wires, the interrupter shuts it off. Most hardware stores carry these at a cost of $7 to $10.
- Be careful with ladders! Don't stand higher than the top two steps, and keep them at least ten feet away from overhead power lines.
If you have questions on these tips, general lighting or other energy
efficiency subjects, please call our Conservation Help Line at 206.684.3800
or send us e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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