Tis the season to light up those here-too-soon nights! Let’s face it, with or without daylight savings time, it starts getting dark at four in the afternoon and that’s just dreary. It’s one of the leading causes for seasonal affective disorder. It literally makes us SAD. Which is all the more reason to light up the night with charming, soul-warming lights. You don’t have to reach Clark Griswold status to bring a little more cheer to the cold winter nights, either. However you choose to light your home this holiday season, make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep it green and safe. No mass power outages for your neighborhood this year, Clark. Sorry not sorry!

The Types Of Lights You Use

There are two main types of lights that will adorn houses this holiday season; incandescent and LED lights. Incandescent are the Old Faithful lights of Yester-Year, but they’re still widely popular. Whether multi-colored or warm white, these lights are a staple of festive lighting plots. The C9 lights, with their large, bulbous shape, just scream Holidays. They’re also nice because you can see them from space. But they also use more energy and therefore cost more money to keep up.

How much? According to research, it costs a little over $15 to run a string of 25 of the large C9 bulbs over the entire holiday season. $15 extra bucks? That’s nothing. That’s lunch at a casual restaurant before tip. Compared to the same size bulb in its LED version, though? 21 cents. Let’s repeat that, 21 cents to run the same string of lights for about 12 hours a day for roughly 45 days. Same exact type of bulb, major price difference. Now, the up-front cost will get you, but you only need to buy lights how often? When properly cared for, they can last for years to come. If you haven’t made the switch, we implore you to do so this year. 

Solar Powered Lights

Okay, so you’ve got solar panels on your roof. Isn’t that good enough for being green? Not if you can also use solar powered lights for your holiday decorating! Yes, folks, there exists such a thing and it works the exact same way your photovoltaic panels do. Instead of needing to plug into an outlet, these string lights come with a photovoltaic battery at the end that can be placed anywhere the sun is likely to shine. While the lights are off during the day, the sun is feeding it energy. That stored up energy then get used to run your lights and night and so the cycle goes, ad nauseum. 

With a full charge, you can expect your lights to stay on for a full 8-10 hours. Full charging takes roughly 6-8 hours. If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area where the sun almost always shines, this option makes perfect sense. You may need to replace the battery over the years, but you’re using even less energy than if you switched to exclusively LEDs.

Rules Of Thumb

As always, it’s best to add timers to your lights so they automatically turn on and off when you want them to without you needing to do anything. No more accidentally leaving the lights on all day and running up the electric bill. Lights should be safely secured to your roof, and burnt out bulbs should be replaced as soon as possible. Never staple your lights to your roof. Instead use quality clips that attach to the eaves and shingles of your roof. Stapling to your roof weakens the integrity of your shingles and opens it up for moisture damage. Not worth it. Work with a buddy when hanging your lights, untangle the strands before you climb up the ladder, and always be aware of your surroundings when hanging lights. Happy Lighting, Friends!