How much Christmas lights and decorations cost to run

It’s not been a month since Christmas and the decorations are starting to appear in earnest. But, while the festive lights are a welcome break from the gloom of the cost-of-living crisis for many, the last thing anyone wants this time of year is a further drain on their finances.

So, with energy bills soaring, it’s worth knowing how much all that seasonal sparkle could cost you. In fact, new information suggests that British households will add around £15.70 to their electricity bills in December using Christmas lights.

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Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help keep the seasonal spirit in full swing. Most of this comes down to the type of bulbs you use, with the suggestion that buying newer bulbs may save you money in the long run. You can get more cost of living news and other story updates straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletters here.

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According to renewable energy expert Wizer Energy, the most popular decorations are the ones that will set you back the most, with indoor tree lights and outdoor rope lights among the most expensive. Below we explain how much some of the most popular decorations can cost you.

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Christmas tree lights

It wouldn’t feel like Christmas without the tree, so most households in the UK are bound to have one. But. With around 25m of fairy lights left on from 4pm until midnight, you’ll pay £0.0163 a day for luxury, which works out to around 50p a month.

LED lights are the more wallet-friendly option, but since they are somewhat outdated, many Christmas lights will likely have incandescent bulbs. For a series of these vintage lights you’d be looking at £0.1088 per day or about £3.37 per month.

outdoor rope lights

With more people choosing to light their homes from the outside as much as the inside, there has been a huge rise in the popularity of outdoor lights. Given the larger area they have to cover, it will come as no surprise that these are among the highest energy consumers.

The old lights will again be a stumbling block for many here, with incandescent bulbs used for around eight hours a day setting you back around £41.54 a month. Doing yourself a favor and switching to LED can bring that price down to £13.82, which is still a reasonable amount.

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outdoor decorations

If the lights outside weren’t fancy enough, you might have planned to add a few more decorations like glow-up reindeers, Santas, snowmen, and a whole host of glow-in-the-dark garden ornaments.

A small reindeer ornament and a small sleigh may seem relatively affordable to run, but it will set you back about £1.38 to run eight hours a day over the course of a month. This is much cheaper than any of the lights, but that can only mean that you’ll be tempted to buy more – be sure to keep this in mind when turning your garden or driveway into a Christmas-themed zoo.

The rule of thumb here is to check your lights, make sure you know what kind of lights you’re running, and keep this in mind to keep costs down. Smaller ornaments or just indoor lighting will be cheaper, but taller LEDs will continue to drive up prices. However, incandescent bulbs remain the biggest problem, as older adults are more likely to still hold on to their old-fashioned Christmas lights. Be sure to do your good deed this Christmas and check in with your elderly relatives to help them save money this winter.

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