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Keeping Christmas Lighting Under Control

Many families put up a lot of lights for the Christmas season. It’s fun, they’re beautiful. Not much more reason is necessary for most.

Too bad so many kinds are really bad for your electric bill.

Lots of people really don’t worry about the bill. They’re just enjoying the lights. But you can consider your bills and still get the pleasure from the beauty of Christmas lights.

1. Replace old Christmas light strings with LED light strings.

Depending on the theory you prefer, you can do this all at once, saving money on your power bill, or do it as strands die, spreading out the cost of replacements and being more sure that you aren’t overbuying. Both have their good points.

2. Limit the hours you leave the lights on.

This is especially important if you’re the typical family with no real reason to leave the lights on all the time. Turn the tree lights off for much of the day and when you go to bed. Turn off the outside lights off when you go to bed or set them on a timer.

Remember, outside lights look very pretty, but not many people are out admiring them at 2 a.m., even in the neighborhoods known for spectacular lighting displays.

3. Think about how many displays you need.

This can go beyond lighting. Go to any store that sells Christmas decorations and you can see just how much things have changed since you were a child. There are more decorations out there that can take electricity to run and light up on the inside. Think of the many inflatable outdoor decorations for example.

If you have a reason, that’s one thing. But if you’re trying to be good to the environment, extend the same thought to your decorations and don’t overdo it. You may be able to find other decorations that are still interesting, yet don’t require extra power.

Cutting back may not be fun, but simplifying does more than just save you money on your power bill and decrease the amount of carbon you are thereby putting into the air. It’s a great way to start focusing on the real reasons you are celebrating, whether it’s out of faith or simply because you enjoy the more secular side of Christmas and time with your family.

One reply

  1. The point about not overdoing the lighting is appropriate at this time, as the recession will leave people somewhat hesitant to support the use of a superfluous amount of lighting items. A reasonable amount of lighting does enough to support the season, and it shows that one was not looking to out-compete a local neighbor for no substantial reason.

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