Xcel Energy offers lighting tips for the holiday season

For those who are decking the halls and decorating their homes this holiday season, there are plenty of options to add holiday cheer that won’t break the bank.

This holiday season, Xcel Energy is sharing safety tips and tricks consumers can use to save on energy by choosing energy efficient decorative holiday lighting.

While lighting preferences vary, making the move to light-emitting diode (LED) lighting can result in substantial savings on customer’s energy bills.

Depending on the type and number of lights used for the holidays, customers can typically see savings anywhere from $1 to more than $70 throughout the holiday season. Though savings can vary based on manufacturer, on average customers using a strand of 100 LED mini-lights for five hours a day will save nearly 50 cents a month per strand compared to a strand of incandescent bulbs. One strand of 25 LED standard C7 lights used for five hours will save more than $1.50 per month, while one strand of 25 LED standard C9 lights can save more than $2 a month.

Most people use multiple strands of holiday lights for up to two months during the holiday season, which can lead to significant savings. The savings on 15 strands of LED mini-lights used for five hours a day comes to more than $13; 15 strands of LED standard C7 lights will save nearly $50, while the savings on 15 strands of LED standard C9 lights can add up to $70 this holiday season.

While it’s important to consider energy efficiency in your holiday decorating, it’s also important to decorate in a smart and safe way. Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:

  • Use electricity safely and wisely. Plan decorating and lighting ahead of time to reduce potential safety hazards.
  • Use only Underwriters' Laboratory-approved lights, and follow the manufacturer's instructions for indoor and outdoor lighting.
  • Before placing holiday lights outside, look up to locate any overhead power lines. When adding lights to your home or trees, always keep all objects like ladders and extension poles more than 10 feet away from power lines and never toss lights near or across an overhead power line.
  • Check the cords on strings of lights and replace any that are frayed or worn. Discard all that are in poor condition. Also, check for loose connections and damaged plugs or light sockets.
  • Plug in lights before stringing them to determine whether any bulbs are burned out.
  • Unplug lights before hanging them, and unplug them when asleep or away from home
  • Avoid attaching too many light strings together and plugging them into one outlet. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for recommended maximum number of strings per outlet.
  • Keep lights away from combustible materials, including draperies.
  • Keep lights away from metal railings and banisters, which can become energized if the wire has a short circuit. Avoid stringing lights along aluminum siding, which can conduct electricity. Never use lights on metallic trees.
  • Make sure rooftop decorations don't block vents or vent pipes.

Information from Xcel Energy
December 2017