TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Heading into December, and the final run of the holiday season, there are gifts, trees, and pretty lights. It’s normally a time of cheer and family and celebration. But thanks to inflation, there’s a little less cheer depending on how much you jolt up your home for the holidays.
Using a formula on electricity for string lights and data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration: How much could your Christmas light displays add on to your electric bill?
The average cost of dollar to kilowatt hour in the U.S. is $0.16 for 1,000 kWh, according to EIA. A formula to calculate the specific use of a standard string of lights said the average cost in the U.S. to run for a month would be roughly $2.47. However, that’s just one string of lights.
The use cost is based on data from product specifications for a standard light on Home Depot’s online store. Using an 86.8-foot LED string light, which has a 21-watt power use and 300 lights on it, the cost equaled out to $2.47 for the national average.
Drilling down to state by state, Florida’s average cost per kWh is $0.14, so the same light string would cost residents $2.21 to use.
Changing up the type of light to an incandescent string with 300 lights on it, costs are different.
For the average American, based on the national kWh cost, you’d spend about $8.46 per month on each string of lights, due to their higher wattage. While the LED light string was 21 watts, the incandescent one is 72 watts.
Floridians, with a slightly cheaper kWh price, would end up paying $7.56 per month per string instead. According to House Method, a site that studies different household needs and costs, Florida’s average cost for Christmas lights is about $14.30 per month, while the national average is $16.48.
Compared to last year, prices nationally were up 13%, while prices in Florida were up 18%, thanks to increased power costs. For Florida, that means a $2.19 increase on their bills, according to House Method. The data from the company said Florida ranked No. 29 for the most expensive state in the country for power Christmas lights.
If you have different lights, you might see bigger, or smaller, costs depending on how much you use and where you live.