Most people would say, “That’s easy, use LED Christmas lights instead of normal mini lights.”
But then again, most people might actually be wrong.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE fan of LED lights…but I still don’t have them on my house this year.
Because I had 25 perfectly good strings of regular incandescent mini lights that still worked (which is about how many strings of lights are on my house right now). I think the better choice is to use what you have instead of send it to the landfill only to replace it with energy efficient LED lights.
Are LED Christmas Lights Worth The Cost?
Maybe… but maybe not.
In this DIY diffused party light project, we talked about how to find LED Christmas lights for around $10 per 100 light string, but if you need them from a big box store, you’re going to pay at least $15 if not $20+ for a string of 100 led lights.
If I were to replace all of my Christmas lights with LED lights, it would cost me over $400…and that’s IF I could find them for $15/string. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of cash laying around.
Thanks to this nifty Holiday Lighting Energy Calculator that came to me via Earth911, I can tell that my Christmas lights are costing me $.55 at 5 KWH per day, versus $.05 at .5 KWH per day if I were to switch to all LED lights.
How to Save TONS of Money and Energy with Incandescent Christmas Lights
One word: TIMERS.
You may notice that 5 KWH is still rather low for 25 strings of Christmas lights. That’s because I have them on this 6-outlet electro mechanical timer from Intermatic (which I’ve had for 6 years) which only lets them run from 5pm to 11pm every day.
You can buy timers for your indoor Christmas lighting as well. Not only does this regulate your energy use, but it can give the illusion that you’re home, even when you’re not… making the holidays a little bit safer this year.
What you want to keep in mind when planning timers for either outdoor or indoor lights is location. You want to try to get your lights to plug into the same area so you have to buy as few timers as possible.
Get creative, I’m sure you can think of all kinds of clever ways to hide those extension cords. I sure did!
I think every little step toward living green is an awesome one… but eco-snobbery sucks! My goal is to help newbies learn the most important steps toward living green — individually and collectively. Personally, I strive to have as little impact as possible on Planet Earth while I'm here.