Christmas Lights Power Consumption

How Much Electricity Do Christmas Lights Use

Understanding how much electricity Christmas lights use helps to plan which lights will work best with your home and better prepare for an increase in power bill charges. Your display size and choice of bulbs, whether incandescent or LED, will influence your energy bill the most.

So, how much electricity do Christmas lights use? It depends on which lights get used. A 100-count string of incandescent mini lights runs at 40 watts, while a 70 count of 5mm Wide Angle LEDs is approximately 4.8 watts total. In fact, because incandescent wattage is 80-90% more than LED wattage, the cost to power an incandescent can be up to 90x greater than powering an LED.

To calculate, we will use the average price of electricity per, but you may choose to pull out your electric bill to use your actual price. According to, the average price of electricity is 11.3 cents per kilo-watt hour.

Typical Light Usage Cost

Definition: Childrens eyes light up when they pass your house. When comparing outdoor Christmas decorations, the typical light user will use 1 to 3 wreaths, a garland, and a total of approximately 10 strings to wrap their outdoor trees. Electrical usage is minimal.

Typical Light User Electricity Cost

Items Incandescent Watts LED Watts
1 Wreath 21 4
1 Garland 42 4
10 Strings of Light 408 48
2 Outdoor Decorations 164 38
Total 635 = $10.78 96 = $1.63

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Outdoor Christmas Decorations

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Christmas Light Accessories

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Typical Heavy Usage Cost

Definition: Other homeowners in the neighborhood strive to be at your level each season. The heavy user is one who has more area to cover and lines everything with C9 lights. They may choose to wrap all of the trees in their yard, outline the rooftop and/or walkways and driveways, and have a few decorations such as wreaths and walkway trees.

Heavy Light User Electricity Cost

Items Incandescent Watts LED Watts
500 ft C9 String on Roof 3,500 480
200 ft C9 String in Yard 1,400 192
15 Strings for Walkway Trees 612 72
30 Strings for Wrapping 2 Trees 1,224 144
1 Wreath 63 14
Total 6,799 = $115.26 903 = $15.32

Typical Enthusiastic Usage Cost

Definition: If cars line up outside your house to watch your display, you are classified as "enthusiastic." The enthusiastic user lines their roof, yard, and driveway as well as wrapping all of their trees. They add lights to every inch of their house and create such spectacular sights as light show trees. They fill spaces in the yard with motifs and walkway trees, oftentimes animated to the sound of music.

Enthusiastic Light User Electricity Cost

Items Incandescent Watts LED Watts
95 Icicle Lights 6,056 458
800 ft C9 String on Roof 5,600 768
500 ft C9 String in Yard 3,500 480
15 Strings for Walkway Trees 612 72
10 Strings for a Light Tree 408 48
30 Strings for Wrapping 2 Trees 1,224 144
150' Spool of Rope Light 378 120
5 Motifs 554 277
Total 18,332 = $310.73 2,369 = $40.15

How to Calculate Electricity Usage Cost

If you would like to calculate your own power usage, use the following formula with your power bill.

Electricity Usage Formula

  1. Know your wattage: Find how many watts you will be using.
  2. Multiply times 0.001 to find kilo-watt hour.
  3. Multiply by 5 hours a day to find kwh/day.
  4. Multiply by 30 days to find kwh/season.
  5. Multiply by 11.3 cents, or your cost of power usage found on your electric bill, to calculate cost.

LED Lights Power Consumption

Does energy savings on the electric bill support switching to LEDs? Yes! LED lights consume 80-90% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and last up to 100,000 hours, versus 3,000 hours for an incandescent. Combine this with the durable construction of LEDs, and savings extend beyond electricity. Repeat purchases in LED lights are reduced drastically, multiplying savings year after year. Shop ENERGY STAR approved LED Christmas lights.

Light Use of Christmas Lights on a HouseTypical Light Usage Cost
$10.75 / $1.63 LED
Heavily Decorated Christmas Lights HouseTypical Heavy Usage Cost
$115.26 / $15.32 LED
Extreme Christmas Lights HouseTypical Enthusiastic Usage Cost
$310.73 / $40.15 LED

Tips on Saving Energy

There are additional ways to reduce energy consumption each season. Combine your Christmas lights with the following to increase electricity savings:

  • Timers - control how long your lights are on
  • Extension cords - instead of using light strings to add length to your display, utilize extension cords in less visible areas
  • Switch to LED - this is especially useful if additional sources of power need to be considered for illuminating large amounts of incandescent lights

Both timers and extension cords support different amp capacities, so pair with Christmas lights of equal amperage.

How To...

Christmas Lights Wattage

Know Your Christmas Lights Wattage

Learn more about wattage and amperage on Christmas lights, including how many lights you can run on a single outlet and how many strings can be connected together.

Christmas Lights Wattage

LED Christmas Lights Guide

LED Christmas Lights Guide

Shop energy efficient LED Christmas lights that use only 10-20% of the energy consumed by incandescent bulbs. Choose from LED mini lights and learn more about the advanced technology.

LED Christmas Lights Guide

How Many Lights for Trees?

How Many Lights for Trees?

Learn to wrap trees and bushes with the perfect amount of Christmas light strings. Discover the perfect strings for outdoor Christmas decorating.

How Many Lights for Trees?

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