There are few things better on this great world of ours than a fully lit Christmas Tree. It brings joy, memories of the past, hope for the future, excitement for the fun you and your family will have this holiday season, but if you’re not careful it can also be a HUGE drag on your electric bill.
Look at one of my electric bills. notice anything that jumps out in the bar graph? Well, the month of January is literally off the charts. Why do you think that is?
Simple. Christmas lights. In our home we have most of the Christmas lights on a timer. So, generally they run from 6pm to 10pm or so. But even though almost all of our lights are LEDs, with the number we have put throughout the house and outside, that is is quite a load. As evidenced by my bill it’s a much larger load than any other month in the year. (September is always an odd month as my utility has it being in the mid-30s for number of days so it makes that months bill much higher. Weird)
Anyway, go back to January. The January reading, as shown above, is actually for usage throughout most of December and into the first week of January, exactly the time we have our lights up.
Again, I make a conscious effort to use low Wattage LED lights but still that’s a lot of kWh’s of electricity used just so we can be festive. I am actually okay with spending more on my utility bill for the Christmas season.
However, the tree, of all things, is the biggest culprit of our Holiday electricity consumption. I got sick of every year dealing with cutting a tree, hauling it, needles falling off, watering etc so we bought a fake tree a few years back, with the lights built in. It’s awesome actually. Highly recommended.
But this morning I went down stairs for my normal 5 am cup of coffee and noticed the treelights were still on. My oldest forgot to turn ’em off. No big deal, I initially thought, they’re LED. Well at least I think they are. I bought this tree before I really paid much attention to the difference in Wattage of various types of bulbs. LEDs typically don’t lose a lot of heat, and these bulbs don’t get too hot, so I assumed they were LED bulbs.
However, I figured I’d run a test and see what kind of wattage the tree is using. So, using my trustee KillaWatt I did an examination.
Whoa! This thing takes almost 2 amps of current to run. 2 amps of current at 120 volts, which is a standard American outlet means it is consuming 240 Watts!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a festive guy, I like the Christmas tree lights on. It’s provides a most wonderful ambient light. However, at 240 watts I certainly don’t like them on overnight for no one to enjoy! 240 watts running for 12 hours means they used almost 3kWh of electricity, all the while everyone was sleeping! AHHHHHH
3kWh is roughly 5% of our entire daily usage and it was all wasted. I don’t like waste as it costs me money and I like having money.
So, moral of the story. As much as you love this:
Turn that sucker off when you go to bed. Save yourself the money to use on other things, like Christmas presents for loved ones!