Did you know that the added holiday lighting in the US is observable from space?
According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the light intensity in US suburbs increases from 30-50 percent in the weeks leading up to Christmas. And that extra lighting costs money, both in decorations and in electricity. Here’s a quick look at some costs and considerations.
This table shows the costs of powering a typical 10-string outdoor lighting setup. It assumes the lights will be on for twelve hours a day for 45 days (540 total hours), and that you’re paying 12 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity. Rates vary by utility, so your costs may be different.
As you can see, LED lights cost only a fraction to operate compared with conventional incandescent lights. Looked at another way, you could run 70 strings of C9 LEDs for the same cost as 10 incandescents.
LED lights cost more than incandescents, but that one-time expense is spread over several years of savings. And since LED bulbs last much longer than incandescents, the combination of power savings and replacement cost can more than offset their initial price.
Safety and Convenience
A typical 15-amp household circuit should have no more than 1440 watts of continuous power connected to it (a 20-amp circuit can handle 1920 watts). That means that ten strings of C9 incandescents using 1750 watts would need to be on at least two separate 15-amp circuits. Since nearby outlets may be on the same circuit, you may need to do some investigating to locate an outlet on a different one. And since there may be other lights or appliances on that circuit, causing it to trip its breaker when the outdoor lights are added, large incandescent displays may require several separate circuits.
On the other hand, you can add those ten LED strings to an existing circuit with no more load than a single incandescent light bulb. Plus, LED bulbs burn much cooler than incandescents, reducing the risk of igniting dry vegetation that comes in contact with them.
Planning Your Lighting
Switching to LED lighting is both cost-effective and environmentally friendly. And don’t worry about disposing of those old light strings. There are recycling centers for them, including Denver Recycles.
If you have questions about holiday lighting or need help with other projects, the pros at Allstar Electrical Services are just a phone call away. We’ve been serving homeowners and businesses along Colorado’s Front Range since 2000 and are top-rated by the BBB and Angie’s List.