How much do Christmas lights harm home electricity bills?


Sarah Yang

People use LED Christmas lights since they are cheaper, however the real purpose of the lights is not about the price — its about spreading joy.

As Christmas draws near, the people of Pleasanton decorate their houses with all sorts of festive ornaments, from colorful Christmas lights to cardboard cut outs of Disney characters. 

“We [put up lights] first week of November, and they’re not turned on till the following week,” said Stephanie Schneider, mother of an Amador Valley student. 

People are certainly enthusiastic about the arrival of Christmas and are decorating their houses with lights early on. However, the unprecedented amounts of energy consumption brings a concern to mind; home electricity bills.

“Before I installed a solar panel on our house, our bill used to go up by hundreds of dollars,” said Schneider.

There’s two types of Christmas lights; incandescent and LED. Incandescent lights tend to use a lot more energy than LED lights, and as an example, a string of 25 incandescent bulbs cost a whopping 15 dollars to run throughout the season, compared to a mere 21 cents for a string of LED lights.

But in Pleasanton, there aren’t many that have stuck to incandescent bulbs in the past few years. Most, if not all of Pleasanton, has switched to the extremely energy efficient LED lights. The real question is whether using these lights, LED or not, is worth the work and the money.

To those that put on tons of Christmas accessories to make their house look good, the answer is simple; they mean to spread the joy of the holiday season.

“The price of electricity [bills] is a fraction of the priceless response you get from all the people that come by and get joy in their hearts from seeing Christmas decorations,” said Shareef Madavi, a resident of Candy Cane Lane.

In fact, Christmas lights can not only bring joy to others, but to loved ones and even the ones that put up the lights themselves.

“I have a 15 year-old at Amador myself and he loves Christmas lights. I [also] love the way they look and so it makes me happy [too],” said Schneider.

In the end, Christmas lights are not just mere decorations, but beacons of happiness and festive joy to others and to oneself. 

“If you can’t spread joy, [putting up lights is] not worth it,” said Madavi.