One of the biggest demands on the power grid begins each year on Thanksgiving Day and the following weekend, when people power up their ovens and begin putting up holiday decorations and turning on scores of additional lights. The good news is, it’s a manageable demand and one Entergy Arkansas is prepared to meet throughout the holiday season.
For those who want to celebrate and decorate while conserving energy, there are several ways to do that. In recent years, outside inflatables have become more popular, because they’re cute day or night, don’t require scaling the roof or using a hammer and nails, and are relatively easy to set up or take down. And, decorating with inflatables requires less energy than you might expect.
One large inflatable consumes about 150 watts of energy per hour and would cost approximately $6 for one month if running 12 hours per day. Using it round the clock for one month would total twice that, or just over $12 for one month. An inflatable measuring four feet would use approximately 52 watts per hour, so three smaller inflatables would cost about the same as one larger inflatable for one month.
Traditional string lights use about 10 watts per bulb, and most strings have a minimum of 25 bulbs per string. One 25-bulb string light used 12 hours per day would consume 90 kilowatts over the course of one month and cost just over $10 – slightly less than one large inflatable decoration used 24 hours per day as compared to one small string of lights used half as much. Multiply that by the number of strings of lights both inside and outside the house, and it starts to quickly add up to more energy and more costs.
If you do opt for traditional lighting, however, you can save both energy and money with LED bulbs which are about 75% more energy efficient than traditional bulbs.
Should you choose to put up lights outside your home, be sure they are intended for outdoor use. Entergy Arkansas always makes safety the number one priority and has created some additional tips to keep in mind:
Never replace a bulb when a string is electrified, as the current used for one incandescent Christmas light can stop a beating heart.
For outside use, work only with three-wire grounded extension cords.
Use a nonconducting fiberglass or wooden ladder when working with strings of lights and stay clear of all overhead wires.
Keep connections and lights off the ground by hanging them over wooden stakes.
Use rubber gaskets in light sockets or hang sockets downward to keep water out.
Never let light bulbs touch flammable materials such as plastic, dry grass and leaves.
Turn outside holiday lights off when away from home or asleep in case of fire.
No matter how you choose to illuminate the season, use a timer to set the hours of usage and deflate your energy costs this holiday season.
Entergy Arkansas offers energy efficiency programs designed to help customers conserve both energy and money year-round. For more information or to enroll, visit https://www.entergy-arkansas.com/energy_efficiency/main/.