As the holidays approach, many consumers may be apprehensive about stringing a lot of Christmas lights around their homes for fear of increasing their electricity bills, but Chairperson of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation’s (BCCEC) Energy and Environment Committee Deborah Deal said there are ways to make the holidays special without blowing a fuse on your bills.
If you’re curious about how your traditional Christmas lights will affect your electricity bill, a single string of traditional incandescent mini lights with 100 bulbs will run about 40 watts of electricity.
Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) charges 10.9 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) for usage up to 200 kw and just over 11 cents for usage beyond that up to 800 kw.
The fuel surcharge stood at 16.8 cents per kwh during the last billing cycle.
Given the amount of lights you use, the cost can be pretty high.
That’s why Deal is encouraging Bahamians to use light emitting diode (LED) lights instead.
“Well you know you can buy LED Christmas lights, and LED pulls way less energy than any other kind,” she said in an interview with Guardian Business.
Where traditional incandescent string lights use 40 watts of electricity, LED lights typically use a tenth of the amount of energy on average.
“You can also get lights that actually have batteries in them, so that you don’t actually have to use electricity. You can also, if you wanted to in your yard, use spotlights. You can do colored spotlights of lights instead of actually having to do many lights on your house. If you’re going to have a Santa Clause or reindeer in your yard, you can use spotlights or LEDs. You can also do solar lights,” Deal said.
“If you use solar lights, in the daytime they will get the sun and at night time, because solar lights have this little battery, it would still actually work at night time. Local stores have all kinds of products like that, where you can use lights that are battery operated and all that. So you can still have a really good Christmas.”
Deal said with a little creativity, Bahamians can make it a special holiday without breaking the bank.
“What I did in my house, I got those really teeny copper strands with little teeny baby lights on them and they just need a little battery, and I stick them in bottles, so on my dining room table instead of candles and having a light on, I just have all of these twinkle lights on. If you’re really creative you can do something really special, you really can,” she said.