Kill‐A‐Watt results I

41PwTUFlsYL._SS500_Adding up all our Christmas lights, indoors and out, our holiday cheer burns an extra 643 watts of electricity when we are at full tilt, according to my Kill‐A‐Watt meter. Our pre‐lit tree alone clocks in at 286 W.

We only have two strands of LED lights, so I do not have much basis for comparison, but the LED strands do use remarkably less power. I have seen claims on boxes of 90% savings. That may or may not be pushing the truth, but it is clearly dramatic.

I am all for saving energy, but as with many new energy saving fads, claims about cost savings may be somewhat dubious. LED lights cost significantly more, and while they claim to last longer, the truth of these claims remains to be seen. From my observation, traditional lights have shown a correlation between purchase price and quality: better lights don’t flake out after the first couple of seasons. Only time will tell whether the same is true with the new technology. Throwing away old, inefficient lights and replacing them with new LED lights is (hopefully) obviously a waste of money and energy. Personally, I find it unlikely that LED light manufacturers are trying to sell us the last Christmas lights we’ll ever buy.

So, Clark Griswold, our 643 watts of Christmas lights, lit for 6 hours a day for the month of December, amount to 112 kWh of electricity use. That’s $12 in electricity cost, or less than the cost of one LED strand at this year’s prices.

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