As the holidays approach, we need to know how much Christmas lights can change your energy bills.

According to Duke Energy, six 100-bulb sets of large, incandescent bulbs (600 bulbs total) plugged in six hours every evening can add up to $80 to a monthly power bill.

In comparison, using a similar set of LED bulbs would add only $7 to a monthly bill. Using a set of mini-LED bulbs would increase the bill by $1.

Duke Energy also has a series of reminders as the holidays approach:

  • Before installing lights, check each set – new and old – for damaged sockets, loose connections and frayed or bare wires. Discard or replace damaged sets before using.
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  • Never use more than three standard-sized sets of lights per extension cord.
  • Plug exterior lights into ground-fault interruptible (GFI) outlets only. If the home lacks outside GFI outlets, call an electrician to install them.
  • Dust your light bulbs regularly, as dirt absorbs light and wastes energy.
  • Before climbing a ladder, inspect it to ensure it’s in good working condition and follow the weight limits specified on the ladder. Ladders that lean against a wall or other support should be angled so the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is about one-quarter the working length of the ladder. Never use a ladder for any purpose other than for what it’s designed. Also, never use a ladder on or near power lines.

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