Holiday Décor Tips for an Energy-Wise Home
By Abby Berry
Whether you’ve already decked your halls or you’re just getting started, there’s still time to incorporate energy savings into your holiday décor planning.
If you haven’t strung your twinkle lights, be sure to use LED light strands. LEDs consume far less energy than incandescent lights and they can last 40 holiday seasons. They’re also safer because they’re made with epoxy lenses, not glass, making them more resistant to breaking––and they’re cool to the touch, so no burnt fingers!
If you missed Santa’s memo about energy-saving LEDs and your holiday lights are already up, you can still save on lighting costs. All you need is a programmable light timer. Most models cost between $10 to $25 and can be purchased through online retailers like Amazon or at big box stores like Lowe’s or Wal-Mart. With a light timer, you can easily program when you want your holiday lights turned on and off, which will save you time, money and energy. If you’re using a timer for exterior lighting, make sure it’s weatherproof and intended for outdoor use.
If Clark Griswold’s décor style is a bit much for your taste, consider a more natural approach. Many Christmas tree farms, and even retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot, give away greenery clippings from recently trimmed trees. With a little twine, extra ornaments and sparkly ribbon, you can create beautiful garlands and wreaths to hang over your front door or windows. To add extra twinkle at night, you can install solar-powered spotlights to illuminate your new (essentially free!) greenery. Solar spotlights can vary in price, but you should be able to purchase a quality set of four for about $30––and because they run on natural energy from the sun, there’s no additional cost to your energy bill.
Regardless of how you decorate your home for the holidays, there are plenty of ways to save energy throughout the season.
Abby Berry writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56% of the nation’s landscape.