It is time to deck the halls with boughs of holly and lots of holiday lights. What lights you use can make a big difference in your electric bill. Omaha Public Power District spokesperson Jodi Baker says there are many benefits to using LED lighting this season.
Baker says, “If you are looking at those big bulbs, those C-9 bulbs, if you are lighting those for about 12 hours a day for 40 days over the holiday season, you are spending about nine cents for LED lights versus $6.75 if you were to use those big bulbs.” That is for a strand of 25 lights.
A strand of 50 mini incandescent lights will cost you about 79-cents to use compared to 13 cents for LEDs. Baker says LEDs burn much cooler and that reduces fire risk. They last about 10 times longer than standard lights and you can hook up to 25 strings together without overloading a wall socket.
Baker says that brings us other safety tips. Inspect all strands for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation or broken or cracked sockets. Only use newer lights with thicker wiring that requires safety fuses to protect overheating. If you are using an extension cord make sure it is rated for intended use.
Those hanging outdoor lights need ut use extra care. Baker says stay far away from power lines when putting them up on a house or trees. Outdoor lights should have labels stating they are certified for outdoor use and only plug them into ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacles. Only use lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory, such as UL.