Find Real Cost Of LED Christmas Tree Lights vs Regular

Is this the year you switch from traditional incandescent Christmas lighting to the newer LED style lighting?  Lowes has a variety of artificial Christmas trees, LED lights, string lights, rope lights, icicle lights, net lights and more to help you kick off the holiday and enjoy the festive season.

From trees that are pre-lit to those small enough to fit on your table top, Lowes has the tree that works best for your space, style and budget.  Christmas lights on our trees, around the fireplace and outdoors are essential seasonal decorations.

They create a cozy glow that makes you want to turn them on indoors during the day, as well as at night. We use much more energy at home over Christmas holiday season, which in turn has an impact on your electric bill.  So it’s worth switching to LED tree lights, as well as using energy-efficient light bulbs in your home through out the new year.

Each year more and more trees are being decorated with LED lighting. Light-emitting diode, or LED, Christmas tree lights emit a bright, vibrant light that uses 80 percent less energy than incandescent tree lights. They are also longer-lasting and stay cooler than traditional bulbs because they don’t have a filament.

The brilliance of their color makes LED lights great for both indoor and outdoor use.   Switching to LED Christmas lights during the holiday season saves energy and money. Simply explained, LED Christmas lights use less wattage and amp current to light your display. Less wattage means lower utility bill.

How many watts do my Christmas lights use?

Watts is a measurement of the amount of energy used. Wattage is typically provided per bulb or string, listed on the bulb or near the UL tags on a string.

The oldest bulb on the market is the large C7 style.  They are big and brightly colored and have been around for decades.  They are also the most expensive to use. Next is the mini bulb. The mini bulb or incandescent mini light bulb will use a significant less amount of watts than a larger C7 bulb. However,  the newer LED bulbs will typically use 80-90% less than the incandescent bulbs.

LED Christmas light wattage is significantly less than incandescent lights, and bulbs always stay cool to the touch. LED lights save money both in the power bill, and as an investment: with 20,000+ hours average life versus 3,000 for incandescent lights.

How much can you save?

We used the average kilowatt hour cost of .15 per kilowatt hour.  A kilowatt hour is 1000 watts. Our formula for calculating cost to operate:

Watts x Time x KW  = Cost to Run Christmas Lights

We did a comparison of a 100 count mini bulb holiday light set versus a 100 count LED light set. The official wattage rating on each “bulb” is .4 watts for the mini set and .07 watts per LED.  A 100-count string of incandescent mini lights runs at 40 watts, while a 100 count of LEDs is approximately 7 watts.  You simply divide watts/kilowatt hour to get cost per hour to operate.

Here’s the boring science stuff!  Blah Blah Blah….Per Hour Cost To Operate.  If you get bored, just scroll down to “bottom line dollars” that regular people like us understand!

Incandescent Bulbs. (40 watts/1000) = .04 kilowatts. Now take .04 kilowatts X 1 hour X .15 cents per hour =  .006 cents per hour or about 6 cents for 10 hours of use.

Doesn’t sound like much at first, but remember, that’s for each strand of lights. Multiply that out for the typical 10 strands of lights on a Christmas tree and you have a cost of .60 cents for 10 hours use.

LED Bulbs.  (7 watts/1000) = .007 kilowatts. Now take .007 kilowatts X 1 hour X .15 cents per hour = .001 cents per hour or about 1 cent for 10 hours of use.

Multiply that out for 10 strands on a tree and you have a cost of .10 cents for 10 hours use.

led mini lights lowesBottom Line Dollars:  If you have your lights on 10 hours a day for 30 days, 10 strands of  traditional incandescent bulbs will cost about $18 to operate. They will last about 3 years.

10 strands of LED bulbs will cost you about $3 to operate.  Yes, LED bulbs will cost more to purchase, but much less to operate than traditional incandescent bulbs. They will last about 10 years.

SAVE MORE MONEY BY USING A TIMER:

Yes, timers will help in saving power by scheduling exactly how many hours to run your Christmas lights.  Just set the timer and sit back while your tree glows or the yard turns into a Christmas wonderland. You control when they turn on, turn off and how much or how little your electric bill will be in January!

By Victoria Stone