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How much will lighting up your home for the holidays cost?

Christmas lights costs and consumption based on JEA utility rate

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Weather Authority says temperatures are warming up this weekend, giving many of you the chance put up your Christmas decorations.  

But before you put up the tree and hang your lights, News4JAX broke down how much using all that extra electricity will cost you over the holidays, based on JEA's residential electric rate. 

Say you leave on your lights seven hours a day over 45 days. Based on JEA's rate of 10 cents for every kilowatt hour used, here's how much you'll spend to light up your home with holiday decorations.

  • Christmas Tree: The average tree requires about 10 strands of 100 mini lights using about 450 watts of power, which will cost you about $14 for the entire season.
  • Outdoor Non-Colored Lights: With a two-story home that uses around 20 strands of these lights, or a whopping 10,000 watts of power, prepare to spend about $450.
  • Icicle Lights: Say you line your gutters with three strands of these hanging lights, you are looking at using around 18,000 watts of power -- the equivalent to washing 50 loads of laundry. Expect to pay roughly $572 during the holiday season.

So here are some tips U.S. Department of Energy to help you save energy and money when it comes to displaying your Christmas decor this holiday season:

  • Buy LED Lights: Those old incandescent holiday lights you have been putting up forever are terribly inefficient, and despite careful storage, often emerge only halfway lit with many being tossed in landfills. Instead, save a bundle by replacing them with ENERGY STAR® qualified LED light strands. In addition to using 70 percent less energy than traditional bulbs, they're brighter, eco-friendly, and are safer, as they are much cooler than incandescent lights. In addition, they are easier to install—up to 24 strings of LEDs can be connected end-to-end without overloading a wall socket. They last ten times longer, have no filaments or glass to break, and costs are similar to the age-old standard. If you prefer white lights with the look of incandescent lights, look for "warm" white on the label.
  • Look for Rebates: Savvy shopping will save you money. You can find local rebates and coupons on ENERGY STAR® qualified Decorative Light Strings at many of your local hardware and department stores. In addition, these lights have a three-year warranty, come in a variety of colors, and have indoor and outdoor models.
  • Limit Hourly Usage: Set timers for lights to automatically turn on when it gets dark and off in the middle of the night, depending on your preferences. You can save a bundle keeping light displays on only eight hours of the evening. If you are still using traditional incandescent bulbs, this tip is even more important to cut down on energy costs.
  • Try Creative and Reflective Decorating: Not everything is about strands of lights. Reflective ornaments and tinsel are just as bright at night, so getting creative with your lighting display can multiply your resources for shine. You could even mirror your next door neighbors' frighteningly costly display with a string of silver bells on your railing. Don't forget the ribbons, wreaths, garland, and reflective menorahs, for electricity-free age-old traditions still bring holiday cheer.