The holiday season allows people to transform their homes into wonderlands of lights, garlands and poinsettias. Each family has its own holiday traditions, and decorations are a part of many of those traditions.
Decorations might be awe-inspiring, but those that include lights often lead to substantially higher energy bills. Fortunately, there are ways for homeowners, whether they prefer subtle displays or more over-the-top arrangements, to save money and still celebrate the holiday season in style.
· Switch to more efficient lights. A great way to ensure holiday displays consume less energy is to change the bulbs being strung. Incandescent lights can use 80 to 90 percent more energy than LED lights. Gradually replace older light strands with newer, energy-efficient LEDs. Not only do LEDs require less energy, but they also can last longer than incandescent bulbs, meaning you won’t have to replace them as frequently as more traditional bulbs. Furthermore, lower wattage usage means you can attach more strands of lights together safely.
· Use timers. Timers can be set to turn lights on and off at specific times, ensuring lights aren’t turning on during the daytime or being left on into the night by forgetful homeowners. Timers also are a good safety precaution. A dark house that is normally lit up can advertise to thieves that no one is home. When lights turn on with a timer, it will create the illusion that it is business as usual in your residence.
· Use homemade decorations. You also can save energy and money by recycling materials into holiday décor. Trim branches from trees and use them in vases for an instant wintry look. Prune an evergreen on your property and make your own wreath with some wire and twine. Shop yard sales for gently used decorations that still have years of utility left. Sew ornaments from scraps of fabric or clothing that no longer fits. Each of these ideas reduces reliance on manufactured decorations that consume energy during production and fuel while being transported from factories to store shelves.
· Rely on extension cords. You can extend the length of displays without using more lights by spacing out light strands with extension cords. Intersperse spotlights to add attention to key elements of your display as well.
· Turn off interior lights. If a Christmas tree is illuminating a front window, turn off the lights in your home, as the tree may provide enough light to make a living room or den extra cozy.