Do Christmas Lights Use a Lot of Electricity?

This article is your guide to answering the question Do Christmas lights use a lot of electricity? As the festive season approaches, many homeowners are eager to adorn their homes with the warm glow of Christmas lights. While these decorations bring joy and a festive atmosphere, questions may arise about the impact on your electricity bill. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of Christmas lights, exploring their wattage, electricity consumption, and cost. Let’s light up the season without burning a hole in your pocket.

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Do Christmas Lights use a lot of Electricity?

Typically yes, Christmas lights can use quite a bit of electricity even though we’ve come a long way with light bulb efficiency. With that being said, Christmas lightbulb wattage varies significantly depending on which lights you use. So, to get a better understanding here is a breakdown of the most common Christmas light bulb wattage:

  • Mini lights: A string of mini lights uses around 25 watts.
  • Big festive lamp-like bulbs: A strand of 100 big festive lamp-like bulbs uses 500 watts.
  • Icicle lights: A string of 100 icicle lights uses about 5500 watts of energy.
  • 200 LED lights: A string of 200 LED lights uses only 12W.
  • 100 incandescent mini bulbs: A string of 100 incandescent mini bulbs can be 40W.
  • 25 incandescent C9 bulbs: A string of 25 incandescent C9 bulbs uses 175W.

The actual electricity consumption depends on factors such as the number of strings used and how many hours they are on. For instance, a 25ft string of 25 lights constantly using 130 watts translates to 0.13 kWh per hour, 3.16 kWh per day, and 97.96 kWh per month, with an additional electrical cost of $12.73. While modern LED Christmas lights are more energy-efficient, even a comprehensive outdoor display is likely to cost less than a meal out for an entire month.

How Many Watts Do Christmas Lights Use?

When it comes to the energy consumption of Christmas lights, understanding the wattage is key. Traditional incandescent Christmas lights typically use around 5-7 watts per bulb, whereas energy-efficient LED lights use significantly less, ranging from 0.5 to 1 watts per bulb. So, if you’re looking to minimize your electricity usage, consider making the switch to LED lights.

Related post: How to Choose the Best LED Lightbulbs

How Much Electricity Does it Cost to Run Christmas Lights?

You might be wondering, “How much will those festive lights on my porch or tree cost me?” Well, it depends on a few things: the type of lights, how long you keep them on, and the price of electricity in your area. Let’s illuminate this for you:

  • National Average: On average across the nation, folks spent about $16.48 to power their Christmas lights in 2022.
  • Type of Lights:
    • C9 LEDs: If you’re using the larger, more traditional C9 LED lights, running a strand for a whole 45-day season will only set you back around 21 cents. Not bad for that classic holiday glow!
    • Mini LED Lights: For the trendy mini LED lights, keeping them on for six hours a day will cost you approximately 60 cents a month. That’s a modest price for that cozy ambiance.
    • Incandescent Bulbs: Now, if you’re sticking to the old-school incandescent bulbs, be prepared to pay a bit more. A strand with the same number of incandescent bulbs could cost around $2.07 for a month.
  • Local Cost of Electricity:

To figure out exactly what your dazzling display will cost, multiply the kilowatt-hours by your local power cost. It’s a simple way to keep tabs on your festive expenses and enjoy the holiday season without any shocking surprises on your electricity bill!

How Much Electricity Does 100 Christmas Lights Use?

To figure out how much running your Christmas lights will cost, you’ll need to consider two main things: the total wattage of your lights and how long you plan to have them on. Here’s a straightforward breakdown:

  • For Traditional Incandescent Lights:
    • If you have 100 traditional incandescent lights and you run them for 5 hours each day, here’s how you can estimate the cost:
      Total Cost=(Wattage per bulb×Number of bulbs×Hours of use÷1000)×Electricity rate per kWh
    • Plug in your specific numbers and your local electricity rate to get a precise estimate.
  • For Energy-Efficient LED Lights:
    • LED lights have lower wattage, which means a lower cost. Check your electricity rate and use a similar formula:
      Total Cost=(Wattage per LED bulb×Number of LED bulbs×Hours of use÷1000)×Electricity rate per kWh
    • Ensure you’re aware of your LED lights’ wattage and the local electricity rate for an accurate estimate.

This simple guide empowers you to calculate the running cost of your Christmas lights and helps you manage your festive budget with ease.

Do Christmas Lights Increase Your Electricity Bill?

Yes, Christmas lights can contribute to an increase in your electricity bill. The extent of the impact depends on several factors, including the type of lights you use, the number of bulbs, and how long you keep them on. Traditional incandescent lights typically have a higher wattage, leading to higher energy consumption and, consequently, a greater impact on your bill. Energy-efficient options, such as LED lights, can help mitigate this increase due to their lower wattage. To manage the impact, consider using LED lights, being mindful of the number of strings you decorate with, and controlling the duration they are illuminated.

Related post: What are the Best Energy Saving Light Bulbs?

Best Tips and Tricks for Saving Energy with Christmas Lights

Dim Christmas LED Lights: A Smart Choice

Dimming your Christmas lights can be a savvy move to cut down on energy consumption. Beyond creating a cozy ambiance, dimming reduces overall wattage, offering an eco-friendly and cost-effective choice for homeowners with an eye on energy efficiency.

Wattage of Christmas Lights: A Closer Look

Understanding the wattage of your Christmas lights is key to managing energy consumption. Traditional incandescent lights tend to rack up higher wattage, while LED lights offer a more energy-efficient alternative. When choosing your lights, balance your decorative goals with both aesthetic preferences and energy-saving aspirations.

Opt for LED Lights

Consider switching to LED lights if you haven’t already. LED lights use significantly less energy than traditional incandescent lights and have a longer lifespan. While the initial cost might be slightly higher, the energy savings and durability make them a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Use Timers or Smart Plugs

Avoid leaving your Christmas lights on all night by using timers or smart plugs. Set them to turn on when it gets dark and automatically switch off late at night or when you head to bed. This not only conserves energy but also ensures your lights are only shining when they can be fully appreciated.

Choose Solar-Powered Lights for Outdoors

If you’re decorating outdoors, opt for solar-powered lights. These lights harness energy from the sun during the day, eliminating the need for electricity and reducing your overall energy consumption.

Regular Maintenance

Ensure your lights are in good working condition by checking for any damaged bulbs or frayed wires. Faulty lights can consume more energy and pose safety risks. Regular maintenance will not only save energy but also extend the life of your decorations.

By incorporating these tips, you can create a festive atmosphere while keeping your energy consumption in check.

Related post: Does Dimming Lights Save Energy?

Do Outdoor Christmas Lights Use a Lot of Electricity? Maximizing Festivity while Minimizing Consumption

Outdoor Christmas lights can indeed contribute to higher energy usage. To strike a balance between festive ambiance and energy efficiency, consider opting for solar-powered lights or utilizing timers. Solar-powered lights harness sunlight during the day, reducing reliance on traditional electricity. Setting up timers ensures your lights are only on during desired hours, avoiding unnecessary energy consumption. Additionally, choosing LED lights for outdoor displays is a smart move, significantly cutting down energy usage while providing vibrant and long-lasting illumination. While leaving outdoor lights on all night may be tempting, it comes at the cost of increased electricity consumption. To manage this, employ timers or smart plugs, ensuring a dazzling display without compromising on energy efficiency.


In conclusion, while Christmas lights can bring holiday cheer, being mindful of their energy consumption is crucial for both the environment and your wallet. By opting for LED lights, dimming when possible, and strategically managing outdoor displays, you can strike the perfect balance between festive extravagance and responsible energy use. Illuminate your home with the spirit of the season, knowing you’re making choices that are both merry and mindful.

Related post: How to Weatherize Your Home to Save Energy

Do you Need Cheaper Electricity?

If you’ve taken the time to understand the information on your bill and discovered you’re paying more than you’d like for your electricity, have you looked around for a cheaper deal? The Energy Professor has a wealth of information on ways to save on your utilities, including details of top deals that could significantly reduce your monthly or quarterly electricity bills.

We hope you found this article helpful! If you are looking for ways to increase energy efficiency and sustainability in your home be sure to take a look at all of the latest renewable energy options in your area. The Energy Professor helps residential and small business owners find qualified energy suppliers in New YorkNew JerseyPennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, Maryland, Illinois, and Massachusetts.

Nik Chapman

Nik Chapman is the Executive Editor of The Energy Professor with lifelong passion for studying and exploring the natural environment. Nik has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences and Biology and has specialized in work with Green Energy, Renewable Energy and Environmental Justice. Nik has worked directly with small communities and nonprofits to help make environmental education more accessible for everyone. Nik currently lives in Washington State and enjoys tide pooling on the Oregon Coast and taking hikes to local waterfalls!