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Daily Q&A: How much does it cost to light up house for holidays?

How much does it cost to use decorative lights during the holidays? Is there a way I can save money?

Seasonal lights during the holidays can dramatically increase your energy bill. If you're looking to buy new lights for the holidays or replace existing ones with more energy efficient bulbs, consider LED (light-emitting diode) holiday lights.

LED lighting cost more up front, but can save on energy and help the environment. A 50-bulb strand of LED lights costs about $10 compared with a 50-bulb strand of conventional lights at $3.

Cherie Jacobs, a Progress Energy spokeswoman, says:

• Running 10 strands of 100 LED light bulbs during evenings for the month of December will cost about 70 cents.

• Running 10 strands of 100 conventional light bulbs during evenings for the month of December will cost about $7 — 10 times as much.

The Electric Power Research Institute says if seasonal lights nationwide were replaced with LED lighting, carbon emissions could be reduced by as much as 400,000 tons per year and electricity cost savings would exceed $250 million.

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to ipenn@sptimes.com or twitter.com/consumers_edge. Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: How much does it cost to light up house for holidays? 11/30/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 30, 2009 9:41am]
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