How Much Does it Cost to Light Christmas Lights?

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There seems to be a lot of concern about how much money other people are spending on electricity for their Christmas lights. I'm happy to report, it doesn't cost much.

The price of electricity varies from place to place, and from time to time, but a typical price is 12¢ per kilowatt hour. That means that if you burn 1,000 watts for the span of one hour, you'll pay 12¢.

Now all I had to do was to figure out how much electricity the lights use. I dusted off my Kill-a-Watt watt meter and measured some decorations. Check out the watt totals below!

My own decorations weren't up yet, so my first stop was Michelle's house in Sacramento. She has a few strings of mini white incandescent lights and some little white LED trees poked into the ground.

Michelle's exterior lights use 238 watts, which is about one-fourth of a kilowatt. That much electricity costs 3¢ per hour.

Inside the house, her 7-foot Christmas tree was decorated with white mini-lights. I don't know how many lights were on it, but it uses 150 watts, which costs less than 2¢ per hour.

Her mantle was decorated with a short string of lights, which used 9 watts.

Michelle wasn't going to spend a lot of money on electricity for her lights.

Next, I tested the energy use of John's Christmas lights in Folsom. John is my friend who operates "MyFolsom.com".

The exterior of John's house uses a bunch of colored LED lights. The two long strands on his eves use 24 watts.

As a comparison, his three flamingos, covered with white incandescent mini-bulbs, use 36 watts. Combined, the flamingos and the colored LEDs use less than 1¢ per hour of electricity.

Inside, there were more incandescent mini-lights.

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