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How much do Christmas lights cost to run?

‘Tis the season to be jolly - and what better way to express your holiday jolliness than by wrapping your home in hundreds of twinkling Christmas lights? 

Whether you want to hang a few tasteful lights around the living room or engineer an extravagant Las Vegas-esque display that’ll light up the whole neighbourhood, getting creative with Christmas lights is the perfect way to kick start the holiday season. 

Best of all, powering a beautiful Christmas light display probably won’t have much of an impact on your power bill. 

How much do Christmas lights cost to run? What can you do to keep costs down over the holidays? And where can you find the best light displays in New Zealand? We’ve got the answers to all these questions and more!

Crunching the numbers

One of the most common misconceptions about Christmas lights is that they cost a lot to run. While that might have been true in the past, modern LED lights are about 80-90 percent more efficient than older incandescent lights of the same wattage and won’t add much to your electricity bill at all.

Let’s assume you’re using LED lights and want to keep your display switched on for five hours a night for the month of December. Powering a typical, modest home lighting decoration will add less than $5 to your power bill. For larger decorations, you’re looking at an additional $20 or so, while massive displays - the type of lighting spectacles that draw crowds of ogling visitors to your house - will run you about $60. 

How you can reduce your power bill this Christmas

Thanks to their incredible efficiency, LED Christmas lights probably won’t add much to your power bill. But if you want to be even more efficient, there are a few things you can do to further reduce your energy consumption. 

1. Invest in solar Christmas lights

A simple way to reduce your power bill this Christmas is to invest in solar lights. Powered by the sun’s energy, solar lights literally cost nothing to run, making them a great option for anyone thinking about making an outdoor lighting display. The only downside is that they obviously rely on sunlight to function, which means they’ll only stay lit up for a few hours after the sun goes down. 

2. Put your lights on a timer

Switching on your Christmas lights for a few hours a day won’t have much effect on your power bill, but leaving them running 24/7 certainly will. Eliminate this risk by putting your lights on an electrical timer. Timers can be programmed to switch on and off at whatever times you specify, which can help you save money on power. You can pick up a digital timer at your local hardware store for about $15. 

3. Plan your decorations

Making a pretty little display for the kids? Want to create a massive lighting spectacle that’ll knock your neighbour’s socks off? 

Whatever it is you have in mind, take some time to plan your decorations before rushing off to the store. Measure the length of the roof, window or tree that you want to decorate, think about optimal viewing angles and try not to purchase more lights than you need. It’s also worth noting that flashing lights consume almost double the amount of electricity as solid lights.

Save money on your power bill this Christmas

Is cheaper electricity on your Christmas wish list? Give us a call today on 0800 785 733 to find out how much money you could save with Pulse Energy. 


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