Christmas Lights Power Consumption

christmas lights power usage


By Eric Allen | Updated Oct 8, 2019

So, how much electricity do Christmas lights use?

Your display size and choice of bulbs, whether incandescent or LED, will influence your energy bill the most. For example, 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.

According to, the average price of electricity is 11.3 cents per kilo-watt hour. For the power calculations below, we will use this figure per, but you may choose to pull out your electric bill to use your actual price.

Want to know more about calculating light wattage? Visit our Christmas lights wattage guide and calculations page!

How to Calculate Electricity Usage Cost

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

  1. Know your wattage: Find how many total 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.

Light Usage Cost Examples For Christmas Decorators

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. After calculating total wattage we can see that electrical usage is minimal.

Typical Heavy Usage Cost

Definition: If cars slow as they drive by and neighbors stop to tell you how much they love your display, you're probably outfitting your house with a few more lights and decorations than the typical Christmas home decorator.

Those who decorate heavily at Christmas will often line the roof and drive way with Christmas lights, add a wreath to the front door, outline the walkway with lighted trees, and wrap one to two trees with lights as well. At this stage of decorating, the extra power consumption may affect your overall electricity costs so it is helpful to calcualte your power usage ahead of time.

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.

Suprises are fun to receive under the Christmas tree, but not on your power bill! For the enthusiastic decorator it is important to calculate power usage and determine the best type of lighting, either LED or Incandescent to use for your holiday display.

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.

Love the benefits of LEDs? Shop ENERGY STAR approved LED Christmas lights!

Energy Saving Tips

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.
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