Eco Quote Today

The Cost of Lighting Over Christmas

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Dec 13, 2022
3 minutes read

With plenty of homes worried about how they will be able to afford keeping the heating on this winter, there are also those concerned with electricity use. Christmas is usually a time where lights are strewn outside, over the tree and in creative ways to provide a festive feeling. But how much does it cost to keep Christmas lights on?

According to Uswitch, in 2020, the average household had their Christmas lights up from 26th November to 6th January, which is a lot of electricity to use over 43 days. Most likely, households will most likely have started putting up lighting later this year on account of mounting costs elsewhere.

Fortunately, Martin Lewis is always on the case to put our minds at ease. Most Christmas lights are LEDs nowadays, which are the most energy efficient version you can buy. If you have older sets of lights that you’ve been reusing for years, they might be incandescent ones, in which case, they’ll be much more expensive to keep on. According to Martin Lewis, a string of 100 LED Christmas lights doesn’t cost much to run at all. Over the course of a month, if you run them for 6 hours a day, this will cost around 18p.

Checkatrade put up their own assessment of LED light bulbs. For a whole Christmas, they expect the lighting to cost you 62p and £9.30 for an outdoor installation, but, naturally, this will depend on how many lights you have and how long you’re running them for. A 3 watt LED light bulb in your home light fitting will only cost around £0.001 to run over the course of an hour, which equates to around £3.72 over a year. This isn’t anything to worry about, especially as energy efficiency has come a long way with lighting.

Consumers from Which? have estimated the price of traditional Christmas lighting to be around £8.94 a month, which doesn’t sound like an awful lot, but compared to their estimate of 90p for LED bulbs over the same period, that’s a tenth of the cost. The consumers based this figure on using Christmas lights for at least six hours a day, with a string of 100 40 watt lights. For longer chains and longer running hours, you can expect this to be a bigger amount.

The reality of LEDs is that they may cost slightly more than incandescent bulbs, but they last much longer, so you won’t need to replace them as frequently. On average, LEDs give you 25,000 hours of light, which is the best part of 3 years of constant use. Incandescent bulbs only last a paltry 1,000 hours in comparison, or over 41.5 days of constant use. If you compare the prices of both these kinds of lights, you’ll need to factor in the replacements. You’ll have to pay for incandescent lights 25 times to get the same amount of use as LEDs, which is both worse for the planet and your pocket.