Holiday lighting adds warmth to your home during the holidays. If you need to replace strands of lights this year, consider buying LED lights, which are more energy efficient, run cooler and last longer.
The chart below shows what it would cost to operate a stand of lights, six hours a day, for 30 days, based on OPPD's basic service rate:
Lights Per String
Watts Per String
Hours of Use Per Day
Days in Month
kWh Average Cost
Number of Strings
Average Monthly Cost
Decorate safely this holiday season by following these smart safety tips:
When hanging outdoor lights, stay away from power lines.
Don't hang lights in trees near power lines.
Keep ladders away from power lines.
When using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use and plug them in only ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected receptacles.
Before putting them up, inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory such as UL or ETL/ITSNA.
Use only newer lights that have thicker wiring and are required to have safety fuses to prevent the wires from overheating.
If using an extension cord, make sure it is rated for the intended use.
Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
Do not overload electrical outlets.
Do not drive nails, staples or tacks through wiring insulation.
Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.
Make sure to periodically check the wires - they should not be warm to the touch.
Keep paper and tinsel away from lights.
Keep lights away from water.
Unplug cords when you string lights.
Do not leave lights on unattended. Unplug lights before going to sleep.
Route cords inside your home so they won’t trip anyone. Don’t place them under rugs, furniture or other appliances. If covered, cords can overheat or become frayed and can cause a fire.
How many lights per tree?
For average lighting on a tree, experts recommend using 100 miniature lights per vertical foot of tree. For stronger lighting, use 200 lights or more per foot.
Holiday sparkle for just pennies
How much electricity does a string of holiday lights use? A set of 50 mini-lights uses nine watts, so it would take about 11 to equal the usage of a 100-watt light bulb. In general, it costs a little more than a penny an hour to operate a string of larger outdoor lights, and less than a penny to operate a string of 50 mini-lights.
If you have other energy-related questions, call the OPPD Energy Advisor at 402-636-3850 or 1-800-648-2658.
Mobile Web for Smart Phones
Now you can report your home or streetlight outage easier on your smart phone. Also view outage map, Storm & Outage Info, and OPPDcares tweets. To access OPPD Mobile Web, type oppd.com in your smart phone’s web browser.