Thursday, December 01, 2022


By Joe Barrett

Christmas is just around the corner, but have you ever thought about what your festive lights will cost you this year?

New information just released by Wizer Energy shows that Irish households will add an average €19.46 to their electricity bill this December illuminating their homes.

According to the MD of Wizer Energy Martin Desmond: “Rising energy costs are probably the biggest concern for people now. Thankfully technology has come on leaps and bounds, LED bulbs are far more durable and energy efficient than the old incandescent bulbs, meaning there’s no fear of racking up a sky-high bill come January.”

Christmas Tree Lights – The Difference between LED & Incandescent

Most Irish households will use two sets of LED fairy lights to brighten up their tree/trees around the house, which equates to around 25 metres of length. If you leave the lights on between 4pm to midnight you can expect to pay around €0.0207 per day. That works out at about 64c for the entire month of December.

Compared these to the older incandescent bulbs, which are far more expensive. A string of lights with 100 bulbs will consume roughly 40 watts, which would cost you €0.1382 per day or €4.24 a month, a €3.64 increase.

Mr Desmond said: “Generally speaking you’ll see the older incandescent bulbs in the homes with an older age profile, they may not even be aware that these lights are costing them a fortune as they’ve presumably had them for quite some time. If you’re popping in to visit the Grandparents in the next few weeks, it might be time to swap out the old lights for some LEDs.”

Outdoor Rope Lights

Lining the outside of your house with rope lights, said Mr Desmond, is a trend that has only grown in popularity over the past 10 to 15 years and it should be no surprise that these lights are some of the biggest energy consumers. LED rope lights usually consume around 1 watt per foot. A 50-metre length of rope light that’s left on for eight hours a day is going to cost you €0.5668 or €17.75 for the month of December. The incandescent older bulbs are far more expensive. The – the same length of lighting nearly triples the price, as these bulbs would use around 3 watts per foot, working out at €1.70 per day or €52.70 for the month.

Outdoor Decorations

Outdoor rope light decorations are another common sight across the country.

“Take a Reindeer and Sleigh decoration for example,” said Mr Desmond: “These decorations can be a little bit deceptive as they are relatively inexpensive, not too big and look great in front of the house. However, they utilise LED rope lights too, this one features around 5m of rope light, which means it’ll cost you €0.0567 to run for eight hours or for about €1.75 a month.”

 Overall monthly calculation

LEDS – 25 metres of fairy lights (€0.64) + 50 metre of outdoor rope light (€17.75) + 1 Outdoor Decoration (€1.75) = €19.46.

INCANDESCENT BULBS – 100 bulbs @ 40 w (4.28) + 50m of rope light, 3w per foot 52.70) + 1 Outdoor Decoration (5.27) = €62.25.

“Our advice,” said Mr Desmond: “If you have any older, incandescent style bulbs left, get rid of them. They’re costing you a fortune in comparison to the LED equivalents.”

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