Holiday Light Energy Savings and Safety

Energy Saving Tips:

  • Switch to LED holiday lights. LED lights come in a variety of colors and use nearly 80 percent less energy than conventional lights. LED holiday lights are cool to the touch and generally much more durable than incandescent lights.
  • Use a programmable timer so that you can control when your lights are on or off. There are many options out there, including some “smart timers” that work with your smart phone.

Safety Tips:

  • Be careful! According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission on average, there are about 160 decorating-related injuries each day during the holiday season, with almost half of the incidents involving falls. In the 2019 holiday season, about 14,800 people were treated in emergency rooms due to holiday decorating-related injuries.
  • Dry Christmas trees and unattended candles can lead to dangerous fires. From 2016 to 2018, there were about 100 Christmas tree fires and about 1,100 candle fires in November and December each year, resulting in 30 deaths, 180 injuries, and nearly $56 million in property loss per year.
  • Inspect all of your holiday decorations and look for broken or cracked sockets and frayed or bare wires. Damaged light sets should be immediately discarded.
  • Stay away from power or feeder lines leading from utility poles.
  • Be safe and careful when moving up and down ladders. Most injuries related to holiday lights involve falls from ladders.
  • Avoid installing holiday lights from or on your roof unless using proper safety gear, including a harness or guardrails.
  • If working on a roof or a ladder be sure to wear sturdy shoes with slip resistant soles. Leather soles are not slip resistant.
  • Only use Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM) approved electrical devices, extension cords and lights. These approvals indicate the product has been tested for electrical safety and reliability when used as advertised.
  • Most brands recommend against connecting more than three sets of lights or combining LEDs and other types of lights in a single strand.
  • Use one long extension cord instead of linking several shorter ones. And never run extension cords through standing water or across walkways.
  • Unplug or turn off all decorative lights before going to bed or leaving your home. Using a timer makes this easier.
  • Make sure outdoor electrical outlets have shock-protecting Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI).