Ever looked at a neighbour’s house that’s absolutely festooned in festive lights and wondered how much they cost to run? The answer might be less than you think.

With the cost of electricity going up, that question is more important than ever. However, if you want a little bit of festive sparkle to banish the winter blues, there’s ways to make sure they don’t cost you too much to run, even in the current climate. The key is making sure you’re using LED lights.

What’s The Difference?

Firstly, it’s important to note that there are several different kinds of Christmas light that you’ll typically find on the market. Traditional lights feature tiny incandescent bulbs. These little bulbs use around 0.43 watts of electricity.

You may have also seen the larger more bulbous lights, which are referred to as C7 or C9 bulbs. These are really popular as outdoor lights, and they’ll typically use around 4-9 watts per bulb, depending on the size. Again, traditionally incandescent bulbs are used.

These days you’ll find more and more string lights using LED bulbs instead. These use a fraction of the watts of their incandescent counterparts, typically consuming 1/10th of the power. A 6W LED is as bright as a 60W halogen, and the same principle applies here. An LED string won’t typically use more than 0.05W per bulb.

Lower Costs

Using less watts means your LED Christmas lights will be a lot cheaper to run. Let’s take two sets of mini strings, each featuring 100 bulbs. Let’s use this formula to compare the two.

(Wattage/1000) x hours x kWh cost = cost.

An incandescent set will use about 43W while an LED set will use about 5W in total. Dividing these numbers by 1000 gives us the kilowatt hours they use.

Typically for the festive season, you’ll want to run your lights for about 6 hours a day for 45 days. That’s 270 hours of use in total. We’ll multiply those kilowatt hours by 270. Then we’ll take the resulting number and multiply it by the current cost of electric, which is £0.34.

Incandescent: (43/1000) = 0.043 * 270 * 0.34 = £3.95

LED: (5/1000) = 0.005 * 270 * 0.34 = 0.46p

As you can see, running an LED strip for the entirety of the festive period is significantly cheaper compared to an incandescent set. If you’re due an upgrade, make sure you’re grabbing LEDs to save more in the long term.

Heat Waste & Other Perks

It’s also worth noting that LEDs get a lot less hot compared to incandescent lights (if you’ve ever burnt yourself on a set of Christmas lights, you’ll know the feeling). This makes them a lot safer to be around, and reduces the risk of fire due to overheating trees and fabrics.

This actually helps your lights to last for a lot longer, with many LEDs offering up lifespans of between 15,000-50,000 hours depending on the manufacturer. That’s many years of use, making an LED set much better value for money- even if they might seem a bit more expensive at a glance.

Outdoor Lights Year Round

Don’t like the faff of having to dig out your Christmas lights during November, only to have to take them down again come January? One solution might be our strip lights, in particular our 24V RGBW + CCT LED Strip Lights. See, for most of the year, these can produce general purpose white light, which adds an extra bit of charm and illumination to your home’s exterior.

However, when the holiday season hits, you can program the light to shine in a huge range of other colours, adding instant festive flair!

If you’ve got any more questions, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0116 321 4120 or send an email to cs@wled.co.uk.

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