The festive holiday mood may make you want to decorate to the max with sparkly lights and yard decorations, but remember to consider cost and energy savings. As you put the finishing touches on that giant Nativity scene or Santa’s sleigh on your roof, be sure to remember these energy-efficient holiday decorating tips.
Buy LED Lights
Those old incandescent holiday lights you have been putting up forever are inefficient, and despite careful storage, often emerge only halfway lit with many being tossed in landfills. Instead, save money by replacing them with Energy Star-qualified LEDs. In addition to using 70% less energy than traditional bulbs, LEDs are brighter, eco-friendly and safer—as they are much cooler than incandescent lights. Plus you can use up to 24 strings of LEDs connected end-to-end without overloading a wall socket—that potentially means easier setup. And these bulbs last up to 25 times longer when used correctly.
You can sometimes find local rebates and coupons on Energy Star-rated decorative light strings at many hardware and department stores. In addition, these lights often have a three-year warranty, come in a variety of colors, and have indoor and outdoor models.
Limit Hourly Usage
Consider setting timers for lights to automatically turn them on at dusk and off in the middle of the night, when fewer people are out to enjoy them. You can save money on your electric bill by keeping light displays on only when you can see them at night. If you are still using traditional incandescent bulbs, this tip is even more important for cutting energy costs.
Reflect Your Creativity
Carefully placed reflective ornaments and tinsel can be just as bright at night, so get creative with your lighting display to multiply your shine. You could even mirror your next-door neighbors’ costly display with a string of silver bells on your railing. Not interested in electric lights at all? Ribbons, wreaths, garland and reflective menorahs provide a traditional, electricity-free ambiance.