Holiday decor has definitely evolved throughout the years. Families once strung popcorn and decorated their doors with ribbon-filled wreaths. Homeowners throughout Wichita, KS, are now powering up inflatable displays and stringing their homes with endless rows of lights. Not only are the finished projects impressive, but they’re also capable of substantially increasing home energy bills. These additional energy costs come at a time when residents are also cranking their heaters up in order to stay warm. Whether you’re concerned about the environment, worried about your budget, or both, the following are eight energy-efficient ways to decorate your home this holiday season.
1. Unplug Inflatable Decorations and Opt for Alternative Fixtures
The blower that constantly powers your dancing snowman or reindeer-driven sleigh requires a lot of energy. In fact, it needs between 100 and 240 watts per hour. Moreover, the size of an inflatable doesn’t always determine how much power it uses. Even a fairly small inflatable can take a noticeable toll on your monthly energy budget if it’s equipped with an inefficient blower. You’ll also notice that very few inflatable decorations have their energy requirements or wattage listed on their packaging.
Rather than inflating your decorations with a blower, look for options that can be inflated just once with a manual or electric pump or something that doesn’t need to be inflated at all. Durable, rubber inflatable decorations might not light up and move throughout the season, but they’ll look just as good when added to your display. Best of all, they’ll look nice even when you’re away from home and don’t have to worry about powering anything on.
2. Use Traditional Decor
Who said lighting was the only way to be festive during the holiday season? For decades, many homeowners celebrated the holidays by decorating outdoor trees in their yards, hanging wreaths and mistletoe, and stringing up garlands. If you want to add illumination, give your yard a modern edge by incorporating a few battery-powered paper lanterns. When it isn’t a danger for passing traffic to do so, you can also add reflective elements like mirrors and tinsel to enhance the effects of modest outdoor lighting. Decorating methods like these won’t cut heavily into your holiday budget. They’re also a lot less likely to start an electrical fire.
3. Take Full Advantage of Your Landscape Lighting
For safety and aesthetics, many homeowners are implementing multi-dimensional landscape lighting plans on their property. In addition to being highly functional, lighting can also ramp up your home’s curbside appeal, especially during the holiday season. Rather than stringing up new lights, consider temporarily changing a few of the bulbs in your existing lighting features. Your ground lights, mounted lighting, walkway lighting, and other fixtures can emit bright and festive colors without costing you any additional money to run them. You can even train your spotlights on any other decorations that you choose to use.
4. Swap Your Incandescent Lights for LED Lights
From round globes to mini-dome sets, LED Christmas lights come in all shapes and sizes. More importantly, these lights use approximately 75% less electricity than incandescent Christmas lights. Rather than pulling out your old holiday lights for another year of decorating, go ahead and search your local stores for more modern and efficient designs. Your home will still look just as beautiful as it did in years past, but your energy bill will be considerably lower.
When opting for LED lights, it’s also a good idea to scale down your overall lighting plan. Try setting up your outdoor design before you’ve hung any lights from the building or trees so that you can best leverage the available illumination from your year-round landscape. You’ll likely find that you need far fewer Christmas lights overall to achieve the same head-turning effect.
One impressive benefit of choosing LED lighting is a lower fire risk. For those with ambitious design goals, many LED holiday lights are easier to connect.
5. Use Power Strips or Surge Protectors
Plugging your indoor holiday lights into power strips or surge protectors is an easy way to decrease your energy use this coming season. Surprisingly, many of your electrically powered holiday decorations could still be using energy even if they’re turned off. As long as these features remain plugged in, most will use small amounts of power all of the time. A power strip or surge protector with an “OFF” switch will allow you to completely power everything down with just the push of a button.
6. Utilize Timers
Holiday lighting and brightly lit decorations usually look best after the sun has set. But what happens when homeowners doze off without remembering to shut these things down? Not only is there the ongoing risk of nighttime fires when holiday decorations are left powered up, but many of the brightest elements in your yard could wind up being major annoyances. Your neighbors probably aren’t eager to fall asleep with the glowing nose of an ambitious reindeer beaming through their blinds. You probably don’t want to pay the cost of maintaining this all-night display either. Setting your decorations up on timers will help you limit your power use to just two to four hours. This way, your decorations won’t be sending out colorful streams of light when no one is awake to appreciate them.
7. Consider Smart Lights
You can increase the efficiency of your holiday lighting plan without forgoing all of your favorite elements. Smart controls will connect all of your electrically powered features to your home’s Wi-Fi network. Once connected, you’ll be able to turn them off and on from any location by using an internet-connected device. If you aren’t home to power everything down, you can still get the job done from wherever you may be. Smart controls sometimes have dimming functionality so that homeowners can avoid irritating their neighbors with bright, late-night displays and cut their energy costs.
Some of the best smart lighting systems will also give you insight into how much energy your decor is using. If you aren’t convinced about the high costs of going overboard with holiday displays, choose a smart lighting system that will collect data for you.
8. Power Down Decorations Early and Take Days Off
To minimize the amount of electricity
that you use throughout the entire holiday season, work a few well-planned breaks into your display schedule. Consider turning your lights and decorations off an hour earlier than you normally do, and have a day or two each week when you never turn anything on at all. Small efforts like these can really add up, especially if your yard is filled with multiple energy-reliant elements.
We’re all about helping residents of Wichita, KS, save money. In addition to energy-efficient holiday decorating tips, we also provide first-rate heating, cooling, plumbing, indoor air quality, and electrical services. To schedule an appointment, get in touch with Eck Services today.