The Halloween season here in Erie, PA is ramping up this October with rows of homes decorated with lights, props, and holographic projectors. These house displays can range from a few lit pumpkins to being covered in stringers. Now, after Halloween has come and gone is when those said homeowners get a different kind of terror, seeing their peaked electric bill. All of those lights, projectors, and family gatherings can cost hundreds of dollars extra in electricity over the course of the Halloween and holiday-rich season. And as much as you may enjoy decorating in lights in celebration, know that there are several electrical contractor and emergency electrical service approved ways you can prevent it from becoming an expensive reality.
Scare and Save with LEDs
The type of lights used to decorate a house will make an enormous impact on electricity consumption. A standard household incandescent bulb uses 60-watts, while the equivalent LED bulb uses as low as 10 watts, an 83% decrease in consumption. Extrapolate that to an entire home covered in Halloween lights, and you are looking at a much less electrical impact. The typical strand of string lights with 100 bulbs uses 500 watts of energy. In order to cover an entire 1,500sqft home, it requires roughly 15 strands, resulting in a whopping 8,000 watts of energy. The equivalent LED strands would require only a mere 1,300 watts. If a home ran the incandescent lights for 7 hours per night for an entire month at the US national average of $.13 per kWh, the lights alone would cost $218.40. The LED cost? $36.40. Not only do LEDs save money, but they last far longer than incandescent and are not to mention, safer!
Reduce the use with Timers
The duration that electric decorations are in use is the other side of the equation. While reducing the wattage of lighting by 83% with LEDs is vast, using the lights less goes a long way as well. Tracking usage of Halloween decorations is not on the top of everyone’s priority list, which is where timers come in. Many holiday lights come with timers built-in, and making use of it to ensure decorations only run for a set amount of time will make another fantastic impact on the bill. The duration used in the previous example was 7 hours, but how long do they really need to be on for passersby to witness? Turn them on closer to sunset and leave them on for 4 hours during peak traffic time. The cost of incandescent used for 7 hours every evening for a month costs $218.40. LEDs used 4 hours nightly for an entire month is $20.75. That is a 90% decrease just by making a simple change to LEDs and using timers.
String lights and spooky flickering decorations may be the least of the worry; what about family gatherings and Halloween parties? For these, you may find that you are using outdoor incandescent lights to provide a safe path for guests, are taking frequent trips to the fridge, using the lights indoors more, and much more that can all add up. Before canceling parties, know that there is a win-win scenario. Make sure that guests are killing the lights in rooms that they leave, put drinks and other items in an ice cooler so the fridge stays shut, and replace those outdoor lights with LEDs.
Halloween, and the holiday season in general in Erie, PA, is always an uplifting time that motivates people to decorate and light up their homes. But being smart about it and following respected electrical contractor and 24-hour electrician service advice is a sure-fire way to celebrate without going broke by the time it is over. Implementing LEDs, timers, reducing use, and changing a few habits will make a world of difference, as demonstrated here. Even though the initial investment for things like efficient lighting and timers may cost more upfront, the savings in the long run are substantial and will pay itself back in a single season.
In the end, do your due diligence this year, and for years to come, to set yourself up for the most cost-effective decorating experience. Enjoy this time of year to the fullest, and feel peaceful knowing that you will not have a pricy surprise when all is said and done.