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The cost of Christmas lighting – and how to lower it

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The cost of Christmas lighting – and how to lower it
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Written by Finder

The festive season is here, and households across the country have strung up their Christmas lights in celebration.

But these twinkling light displays may have you feeling grinchy when you open your next energy bill. Finder research shows that festive lighting has Aussies forking out an extra $171 million in energy costs over the 4-week Christmas period. That’s equivalent to an extra $69 per household.

This might not seem like a huge amount, but many households will already be feeling the strain after the financial onslaught of both Christmas and the pandemic.

But lowering your energy consumption doesn’t mean you can’t deck the halls. Below, we’ll show you how to do it the smart way.

Switch to LED or solar lighting

Finder compared a variety of Christmas lights and found that a string of 100 mini-incandescent light bulbs has a wattage of 41. In comparison, a string of 100 mini-LED light bulbs has a wattage of just 7, making them a far more energy-efficient option.

If you want to ditch electricity altogether, solar outdoor lighting is your best bet. It won’t have the same brightness as electric lighting, but it relies on sunlight instead of power. This makes it good for your bank balance as well as the environment.

Invest in a good multi plug

Many of us are guilty of using an old multi plug for our Christmas lights year after year. But it might be time to bin your current one if you want to be more energy efficient.

A new, modern multi plug (if used correctly) will properly regulate the electrical current and minimise electricity wastage. Not only will this help lower your energy costs, but it’s also a lot safer. Old plugs can be a fire hazard and the last thing you want is to put your home or family in danger from something as simple as a light display.

Use a timer

If there’s no need to leave your Christmas lights on overnight, or during the day, then,  regardless of the type of lighting you choose, you could always opt for a timer setting if possible.

Try and limit your lighting display to a few hours each evening, and have the timer automatically switch them off for you.

Don’t go overboard

It may be fun to have the most brightly decorated house on the street, but it’s probably also unnecessary. Try and resist buying a truckload of lighting and decorations if you want to save money. Limit yourself to a few statement pieces.

You also probably don’t need to have your lights up for weeks on end. Try and limit yourself to the month of December if possible.

Maurice Thach is a utilities publisher at Finder

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