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For Immediate Release: November 29, 2005
Contact: Claudia Chandler - 916-654-4989

Don't be "Clark Griswold" with your holiday lights this season! Use energy-efficient lights and save on your electricity bill.

Sacramento - To avoid a shockingly high electricity bill, don't be a Clark Griswold! In the holiday classic movie, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" Griswold requires a second power plant to light up his home's holiday decorations. By using more energy-efficient holiday lights, you can steer clear of that scene and save on your electricity costs

As a shopper, you have many options to choose from: LED (Light Emitting Diodes) light strings, incandescent mini-lights, hanging icicle lights, and your traditional larger incandescent bulbs. The selection process can seem a bit overwhelming, so here's a brief overview of holiday lights.

LED light strings, somewhat new to the holiday market will continue to save you money over the long haul with an estimated 20-year lifetime. LED's are the least expensive to operate over the other holiday light choices. Using only 0.04 watts per bulb, LED's save up to 80 percent on your holiday light energy costs. Available in an array of colors, LED lights come in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and diamond white. An added benefit is that you do not have to find which single bulb is burned out on a light string for the whole cord to work. Safe to use around children, LED's are cool to the touch, shatterproof, and present no fire danger. Depending on their use, LED's will initially cost you more, but will pay for themselves after a season.

Incandescent mini and hanging icicle lights each use about the same amount of energy, but they will cost you ten times more to operate than LED light strings. At .4 watts per bulb they still use about 70 percent less energy than the traditional larger incandescent bulbs. When using icicle lights, remember that they have more lights per string than your regular light strands, another factor that can drive up your electricity costs.

If you decide to use the traditional larger, C-type incandescent bulbs consider using fewer strings, since they produce a brighter light compared with LED light strings. Using 5 to 10 watts per bulb, operating your traditional larger bulbs can cost you over a 100 times as much as LED bulbs, and 25 times the cost of mini and hanging icicle lights. Lower watts equal greater energy savings. Translated, it means more cash in your pocket, and a lower electricity bill.

NOTE: Your home's energy bill will be determined by how many strings you use and how long they are on each day.

More holiday energy savings tips to consider:

  • Use edible ornaments such as gingerbread men, candy canes, or strings of popcorn. Stay away from burning candles, which can ignite your tree on fire, and cause a disaster.


  • Eliminate the need of multiple light strings by combining tinsel with your lights to add sparkle and brilliance.


  • Consider a fiber optic artificial tree. These trees use one single incandescent bulb to light up a whole tree. They can use between 5 to 50 watts, depending on the size of the tree.


  • For indoors and outdoors, rope lighting is another option to illuminate features and decorations. Incased in flexible plastic tubing they use an estimated equal amount of energy as incandescent mini-lights.


  • Turn your holiday lights off when away from home, and at night while sleeping. Using a timer can simplify this task, and reduce energy costs.

For more consumer information, check out The Consumer Energy Center at:

www.consumerenergycenter.org .

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