While winding down a busy day of riding roller coasters with some of our friends, one of them who regularly traveled the route home noticed that many of the big homes we were passing no longer had bright lights casting a luxurious glow on them; a change she attributes to owners cutting back on electricity costs. After discussing areas that we had cut back we wondered how tightening budgets will affect people's decision to decorate for the holidays.
The average cost of lighting up a tree for a month is close to $30 when done using traditional lights, a significant amount when money is already tight. Concerned consumers can switch to LED Christmas lights which run for the same period for less than a dollar in electricity. Switching to LED bulbs however comes with a high price tag of its own: A 50-light string can cost upwards of $20 which adds up quick on a tree with 500 to 600 lights!
While I wouldn't be surprised to see malls and other businesses also cutting back on any decorations that use lights this year fans of the massive tree in Rockefeller center shouldn't have to worry. The 600,000 light tree is still scheduled to be lighted on December 3rd this year and since the tree uses LED lights it will only cost a fraction of what it did 2 years ago before the switch was made.
I know our tree will still be lit up like a supernova come late November. My wife loves to decorate for Christmas and her tag line has become, "More Lights", much like Christopher Walken clamored for, "More Cowbell". Last year's tree had well over 1,000 lights on it and put off enough of a glow that you didn't want to look directly at it without a welders mask. Thankfully any increase in electric usage was made up for by the heat the tree put off, letting us stay bright and on budget through the holidays.
Spend money to save money on your Christmas lights this year (and save the world too!)