Link to Seattle City Light Home Page Link to Seattle City Light Home Page Link to Seattle City Light About Us Page Link to Seattle City Light Contact Us Page
Lighting Seattle since 1905 Jorge Carrasco, Superintendent

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.

Conservation: Holiday Lighting Tips: Animated BulbsNew 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:
  • 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.
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:

Light Type Electricity Costs
Standard C-7
(125 bulbs, 4 watts each)
Mini Lights
(300 bulbs, 0.4 watts each)
LED Lights
(280 bulbs, 0.04 watts each)

Stores that carry LED holiday lights include:
Bartell Drug
Fred Meyer
Home Depot
Ace Hardware
True Value
City People's Mercantile
Please call store first for stock on hand. Some have limited quantities and may soon be sold out.

Conservation: Holiday Lighting Tips: Animated Bulbs Safety
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.

Conservation: Holiday Lighting Tips: Animated Bulbs Resources
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

Best Wishes for a safe and enjoyable holiday!
Conservation: Holiday Lighting Tips: Animated Bulbs Conservation: Holiday Lighting Tips: Animated Bulbs Conservation: Holiday Lighting Tips: Animated Bulbs Conservation: Holiday Lighting Tips: Animated Bulbs

If you have questions, contact us at:
or call (206) 684-3800

Featured Programs and Events:

· Powerful Neighborhoods Program is now serving multi-unit residential buildings.

· Twist & Save with energy-efficient light bulbs and fixtures. See a list of participating retailers and disposal information.

·Do it yourself guide to air-sealing and insulating your home from ENERGY STAR

The Seattle City Light Web Team:

Seattle City Light -- 700 5th Avenue, Suite 3200, Seattle, WA 98104-5031 -- 206.684.3000
Mailing address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 3200, P.O. Box 34023 Seattle, WA 98124-4023