5 Helpful Tips for a Green Holiday Season: Lighting Your House

Lighting your home for the holiday season is an excellent way to get into the holiday spirit. However, at a time when so many are hoping for peace and giving to charities, many forget the environment during the season. By following some of these tips for lighting your home, you can save energy while celebrating the true spirit of the holidays.

The easiest and best way to save energy during the holiday season is to choose energy saving lights. Energy saving outdoor holiday lights should be clearly marked on the outside of the package. Most energy saving outdoor holiday lights use use 5 watt bulbs versus 7 watt bulbs. By using the lower wattage, you can save energy by 30 percent. These lights are also safer because they emit less heat.

Of course 5 watt bulbs are not as good as LED holiday lights. These can help you save energy by almost 95 percent versus other types of bulbs. Most LED holiday lights use a fraction of a watt per bulb and if one burns out, the others continue to produce light. Although they are more expensive than other holiday lights, the amount energy you can save by using them can make them more cost effective than traditional holiday lights.

Another excellent way to save energy when lighting your home is to put the holiday lights on a timer for only a few hours in the evening. Because most families decorate their homes for the enjoyment of themselves and neighbors passing by, it’s a good idea to only have them on when someone is around to enjoy them. If you have a lot of lights on your house and close neighbors, leaving your lights on isn’t only wasting energy, it’s probably bothering your neighbors as well.

Although many people like to use a lot of holiday lights to celebrate the season, you may wish to consider highlighting specific architectural elements of your home, rather than applying lighting all over the exterior. Even if you have the ability to blanket your home in lights, you should consider that the most visually pleasing holiday lights displays are the ones that show some restraint. Consider writing out a lighting plan that only adds lights to select areas of the exterior.

Many people are so interested in lighting that they forget about other decorative elements that don’t require energy. A fresh wreath on the door coupled with a single spotlight at the front door and electric candles in the windows is a favorite for many New England homeowners. Not only does this approach to using holiday lights save energy, but many prefer this look for its Norman Rockwell appearance.

After the holiday season is over, promptly remove the lighting from your home. Although this tip might not save energy, it prevents the lighting from becoming broken, forcing you to replace them next year and throw the old lighting away. Once you have removed the holiday lights, check for dead bulbs and replace them. Replacement bulbs should be on clearance, saving you money if you do it now rather than the beginning of next year’s holiday season.

Adapting a few of these holiday lighting tips will not only show your sensitivity to the environment, but your pocketbook as well. Using LED lights and putting them on a timer can significantly reduce your electric bill, leaving you more money for presents under the tree.

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