LED Christmas lights can save 90% on energy cost

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Less than a month away from Christmas light displays are starting to pop up on houses around the Truckee Meadows.

The Clark Griswold ‘Christmas Vacation’ type displays used to mean having a huge power bill in January, but that is no longer the case. According to information provided by NV Energy, LED lights can reduce a customer’s power usage by up to 90%.

At Shelly’s True Value Hardware in Sparks, LED lights are all they sell because that is all customers want.

“We only stock LED bulbs because they are so much more efficient,” said Bob Falkenthal, Manager of Shelly’s Hardware. “(Customers) want to have lots of lights, but they do not want to spend money on electricity. You can’t blame them!”

The lights are not only more energy efficient, users can string 30 stands tougher without overloading a circuit. With traditional Christmas lights, it was only recommended that three strings of lights be connected together.

“Instead of having to break out an extension cord or have extra outlets around our house to plug them in… you can plug them in in at one source and run them all around your house on one source,” said Falkenthal.

NV Energy says it is also a good idea to use a timer so lights can turn off and on by themselves.

Below is NV Energy’s full press release about holiday lighting safety.

During this holiday season, NV Energy recommends the following holiday lighting conservation and safety tips. By following the recommendations outlined below, energy consumers will be able to make safer and more cost-effective decisions with holiday lighting.

1. Switch to safe, long-lasting, energy-efficient LED (light emitting diode) holiday lights whenever possible. Technology has come a long way and you can’t tell the difference between older bulbs and LED bulbs. LEDs also use 90 percent less energy, are cooler and last longer than non-LED lighting.

2. Use a timer to turn off lights during daylight hours and other specified times.

3. Don’t overload your electric circuits. Check fuses or circuit breaker panels to see what your home can handle, and stay well within the limits.

4. Adhere to manufacturer’s designations and locations of use (indoor vs. outdoor).

5. Outdoor lighting should have insulated electrical cords and be plugged into a ground fault interrupter-protected receptacle only.

6. Don’t run extension cords under rugs, around furniture legs, or across doorways.

7. Keep all plugs and connectors off the ground, away from puddles and sprinklers.

8. Make sure there’s a bulb in each socket of a light string even if it is burned out.

9. Keep your natural tree well-watered to prevent bulbs from igniting dry branches. Never use electrical decorations on metal trees.

10. Ensure that the electrical setup is safe from small children and pets.

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