It’s that time of year again when the temperature has dropped, the days are shorter and you can almost hear the jingle bells ringing. Thanksgiving decorations are being stowed away in the attic while the Christmas tree and lights are coming down. Families are beginning to decorate their homes with bright lights in an effort to allow Saint Nicholas to easily find his way to them again this year.  Everyone is merry and bright, until their first utility bill of the new year arrives. Their jaws hit the floor! Why is our bill so high?! How could we have used this much energy!? What are we going to do?

Utility bills that arrive after the holiday season can come as a shock to many customers. These customers have just seen costs drop with the season’s change and now they are finding a reverse in the trend that they were enjoying so much.

Today, I’d like to talk about the cause behind these seasonally high utility bills and discuss the actions we can take to combat these unsightly costs in order to make ourselves more energy efficient. When I think of Christmas lights, my mind always turns to Clark Griswold’s masterpiece of a light show shown in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. For those who haven’t seen the movie, Clark spends all day decorating his house with “a grand total of 25,000 Italian imported incandescent Christmas twinkle lights.” Needless to say, a golden flow of comedy ensues.

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When Griswold finally gets the bugs worked out of his lighting system, the house glows! Aunt Bethany asks, “is your house on fire, Clark” to witch Griswold proudly replies, “no, those are just Christmas lights.”

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The sudden demand that Clark puts on the electric grid by turning all of his Christmas lights on at once is shown causing citywide blackouts and backup forms of energy are needed to correct the problem. We can thank Clark’s dad for this because he taught him everything he knows about exterior illumination.

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While Clark undoubtedly had the most spirited house in the neighborhood, he certainly paid the price for it on his next utility bill.

We can estimate how much Clark spent on the exterior illumination of his home by calculating his kWh usage. Then, we can compare his costs to that of LED Christmas lights.

Incandescent Christmas Lights

(0.408 Watts per bulb / 1000) x (25,000 Italian imported incandescent Christmas twinkle lights) x (10 hours/day) x (7 days/week) x (4 weeks in December) = 2,856 kWh

At an electricity rate of $0.11/kWh, the Griswold family would spend $314.16 in the month of December on the exterior illumination of their home alone using expensive and inefficient incandescent Christmas lights that have a short lifespan.

LED Christmas Lights

(0.069 Watts per bulb / 1000) x (25,000 LED Christmas twinkle lights) x (10 hours/day) x (7 days/week) x (4 weeks in December) = 483 kWh

At an electricity rate of $0.11/kWh, the Griswold family would only spend $53.13 in the month of December on the exterior illumination of their home using LED Christmas light that are brighter, would last longer and are more energy efficient.


Be smart this Christmas and use a longer-lasting more energy efficient alternative to those old twinkle lights.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from Efficient Power Tech.


 

 

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