December 1, 2017

Energy-efficient Christmas lights equals cheaper energy bills

There’s nothing quite as magical at Christmas as seeing your home lit up with hundreds of tiny, twinkly Christmas lights.

You might be keeping things minimal, with a few lights on the tree, or maybe you prefer to go big with a full outdoor display. However you choose to deck your halls, it’s worth knowing what kind of impact all these colourful Christmas lights will be having on the environment, your energy usage, and ultimately your pocket.

Why the fuss over Christmas lights?

You might think that a few twinkles here and there won’t have too much of an impact on your electricity bill. But the costs - and the damage to the environment - really start to add up.

In fact, if you leave your Christmas lights on for 10 hours a day over the 12 days of Christmas, enough carbon dioxide will be produced to inflate an incredible 64 balloons. A particularly extravagant display can produce enough carbon dioxide to fill two double decker buses, or enough energy to heat the average home for up to six weeks.

It’s not just the environmental impact of Christmas lights to think about. Using incandescent bulbs as opposed to LEDs costs the UK an incredible £13 million extra a year in energy bills.

How much will it cost to power Christmas Lights in my home?

Don’t worry, there’s no need to say ‘Bah Humbug’ to the festive lights completely this year. We’ve got some tips to help you understand exactly how much lighting up your home can dent your bill. And, it’s not just your energy bill you need to consider; you’ll also need to think about the cost of replacing your lights.

  • While energy-saving bulbs are more expensive at the point of purchase, the long-term savings really do add up. Using an energy-saving bulb will save approximately £10 a year on your electricity bill. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you consider it lasts up to 12 times longer than a regular bulb, the savings really do start to add up.
  • The same applies to Christmas tree lights: incandescent bulbs (the old-fashioned kind) can cost up to 90 times more to power than LED bulbs. This is because they have a filament and around 90% of the energy they produce is wasted as heat. Calculations from energy suppliers suggest that a string of 80 old-fashioned bulbs cost about 72p per string in electricity for the entire festive period while LED Christmas tree lights cost around 14p to light the tree for the same period.
  • If you’re lighting up the house or garden however, the costs really start to add up. Older outdoor lights costs over £20 to run over Christmas, in comparison to only £0.18p for the newer lights.
  • To save further, when you’re shopping look for the lowest-wattage strings of Christmas lights (you can find lights with a wattage as low as 0.01kW).
  • Solar-powered LED lights for outdoors are a great alternative to traditional lights, and despite what you might think, they can still pick up enough solar energy in the low-light winter months to produce wonderful, colourful LED displays.

How else can I save energy over Christmas?

Christmas can be an expensive time of year, but there’s no need to waste money on energy when you could be making small changes and saving. Why not buy or if you’re crafty, make your own draught excluders? If you’re going on holiday over the festive season, turn your heating down instead of off to avoid frozen pipes and a hefty repair bill.

Switching energy supplier could be one of those small changes to make a big difference, and it’s not as difficult as you might think. Flipper can help you move energy supplier quickly and seamlessly, making sure you’re getting the best possible deal on your energy over the winter period. If you think it’s time for a change, trust Flipper to flip energy suppliers for you.

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