With Christmas fast approaching and the increased usage of seasonal decorations that require an energy source, we are not surprised when we get the electricity bill at the end of December showing a surge in our electricity costs. The holiday season is generally a big time for energy usage, but there are things you can do to make your home merry and energy efficient. Here are 10 tips to lighten up your home for the holiday season and save energy.
1. Use the sun’s energy to power those outside Christmas lights. Solar-powered decorating lights charge during the day and turn on automatically at dusk. You can find a selection of these energy-saving lights, including a set of 20 Solar Powered LED Icicle Lights for $19.99 to hang above windows and doors, from a number of retailers at amazon.com.
2. If you do not want to invest in a set of solar-powered Christmas lights for outside your home, set the decorating lights you do put out on a timer. Set the timer to turn on the lights after dark and turn off the lights an hour before you go to bed. The TORK 7-Day Digital Timer is $69.00 at lowes.com and offers setting options for every day of the week.
3. String energy efficient LED lights, which use a fraction of the energy wasted by traditional holiday lights, around your Christmas tree.
4. Buy a fiber optic Christmas tree to display within your home. According to the Iowa Energy Center, these trees “use a low-wattage incandescent bulb to light small fibers on the ends of each branch,” which transfer to savings on your energy bill. The 32″ Pre-Lit Starburst Fiber Optic Christmas Tree, $15.00 at walmart.com, is a great tabletop choice with its silver stars and silver base.
5. Turn off room lights when the Christmas tree is lit. You can not appreciate their twinkle if other lights are on in the same room.
6. Do you really need a lighted Christmas tree? If not, a Christmas tree decorated with bright-colored glass ornaments will be just as beautiful and will reflect the light of house fixtures when family and friends come to visit for the holidays.
7. Colorful glass ornaments can also be placed strategically around the house to reflect a room’s lighting. Hang baubles from chandeliers or a fan’s pull chain, place ornaments in bowls on tables or on windowsills, and adorn garlands with the Christmas tree decorations.
8. Light up the house with festive candles instead of energy-draining lights. Gather candles held in sturdy holders and with complementary scents on tables, mantelpieces, and windowsills for Christmas décor and illumination. (My favorite holiday candle is Yankee Candle in Christmas Cookie, $24.99 for a large jar at yankeecandle.com.) Just be sure to keep candles out of reach of children and pets and to extinguish candles after each use.
9. Replace Christmas decorations that require an outlet with ones that can use rechargeable batteries. For example, a staircase, doorway, or mantel can be adorned with the Cordless Lighted Poinsettia Garland, $19.98 at taylorgifts.com, which requires two AA batteries.
10. Forgo lit Christmas villages and lighted nativity scenes unless you can find fiber optic versions. These Christmas decorations tend to clutter and you really do not need these items to brighten up your home.
“Don’t Let Holiday Decorations Add to Your Electric Bill.” Iowa Energy Center.