How Much Does It Cost To Run Christmas Lights?

Posted by on 9/5/2016

Want to really see how much your Christmas Lights affect your power bill? Here is a quick guide to calculating power consumption and cost. For this example we are going to compare using 300FT of C7 LED lights to 300FT of C7 incandescent lights. A standard LED C7 bulb uses approximately .6 watts of power per bulb or for 300FT, 180 watts. Standard Incandescent C7 Christmas Lights use 5 watts of power per bulb or for 300FT you are using 1500 watts of power.

First, find the wattage of the lights. On mini Christmas lights this is usually on a tag near the plug, on C7 or C9 lights it is often stamped into the base of the bulb or on the outside of the box. 

Second, multiply this by the number of strands you are using or the number of bulbs on a strand for C7 & C9 lights.

Again, 300FT of LED C7 Christmas lights will be approx. 180 watts. Three hundred feet of Incandescent C7 Christmas Lights will be 1500 watts of power total.

Third, divide the total wattage by 1000 to get your kilowatts used.

Wattage / 1000 = Kilowatts

For 300FT of C7 LED Christmas lights the kilowatts would be .18kWh.

For 300FT of C7 Incandescent Christmas lights the kilowatts would be 1.5kWh.

Next, take the kilowatts (power used) and multiply that by the total time used. For instance the average household will run their lights from 6PM to 10PM daily from Thanksgiving to New Years. This is approximately 40 days depending on the year. Four hours per day times 40 days is 160 hours.

Power (kWh) x Time Used = Your Energy Consumption

For 300FT of C7 LED Christmas lights the energy consumption would be 28.8kWh

For 300FT of C7 Incandescent Christmas lights the kilowatts would be 240kWh.

That is a huge difference right? Keep reading you might be shocked with the differences overall.

Lastly, calculate your cost to run those lights. Take the energy consumed and multiply that by your power companies cost per kWh.  This will give you the total cost to run your Christmas lights for 160 hours this season.

Energy Consumption x $0.128 (national average as of April 2013 source Bureau of Labor & Statistics US Government) = Cost to run the lights

For 300FT of C7 LED Christmas lights the total cost to run for 160 hours (4hrs/day x 40 days) would be $3.6864.

For 300FT of C7 Incandescent Christmas lights the total cost to run for 160 hours (4hrs/day x 40 days) would be $30.72.

I don't know about you but I like to save money, $27 could buy dinner out for me and my spouse, get me a new shirt at the mall or a few new books.  But what did saving that $27 actually cost me?  Check back next week to get the scoop on what it will cost you to purchase that 300FT of C7 LED lights vs. buying or keeping your 300FT of traditional incandescent lights around a few more years. We will also outline the pros and cons of each type of light to give you a better understanding of what LED lights can and cannot do and help you to make an informed decision on the type of LEDs to purchase to get the longest use possible out of them so you can go green without giving up too much of your hard earned money.

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