Holiday efficiency tips

Posted November 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm

If you are looking to trim a Christmas tree and your holiday budget, the Energy Education Council and South Kentucky RECC have tips for you to cut costs, not festivity, this season.

“The holidays can be an expensive time for families, with the costs of presents, travel, and celebrations,” says Alan Coffey, SKRECC Member Services and Marketing Team Leader. “Energy-efficient lighting can be a great way to cut costs and worry this holiday season.”

You can cut some of the hassles of holiday lighting and save on energy costs by using LED lighting. LED lighting comes in a variety of shapes and colors. You can even get LED retrofit bulbs for strands you may currently have.

LED lights are more durable than traditional mini-lights. They also last up to 100,000 hours indoors. Since LED lights do not run as hot as mini-lights, they are not as dangerous, and you can string more strands together. Although LED lights are more expensive than mini-lights, they can save you hassle in the long run.

Some LED lighting is made for outdoor use, as is solar lighting, which is another efficient option. Solar lights are charged by the sun during the day and require no electricity. However, because solar lights involve new technology, they are more expensive than other decorative lights.

No matter what lights you choose to buy, look for the blue Energy Star label. Energy Star products use up to 70 percent less energy and can last up to 10 times longer than other products, according to Energy Star.

How you use your holiday lighting can also help you save money. An important step for both efficiency and safety is to shut off lights and decorations when you will not be around to use them. A timer can even help do this for you.

Remember, the cleanest, greenest energy is the energy you do not use. Consider repurposing items around the house into decoration. You can also use garlands of popcorn, cranberries, and gingerbread to help you decorate more efficiently.

For more tips on energy efficiency year round, visit or .