Finding Extra Ways to Save During the Season of Lights


Christmas lights are one of my favorite things about the holidays. I love driving around to see them light up houses as well as the atmosphere they create in my home. Whether they are decorative accents or adorn a giant tree, their festive glow brings the holidays to life. Since my day starts long before sunrise, I like to switch on the lights on my tree and enjoy the soft radiance they create while I sip my first cup of coffee.

otherappsimage-2My love affair with holiday lights started long before I even knew much about the holidays. –My parents claim I uttered my first phrase “pretty lights” while gazing at our Christmas tree. Even though it now takes considerable effort to put up all the lights up both inside and out, I want to make sure I create the same magical atmosphere for my son. When he was just a few months old, I decided that, in addition to the lights on our tree, I wanted some decorations in his nursery. We use small white lights on our tree so to mix things up I thought I’d try some large old-fashioned colored lights. I got a strand and strung them up around his crib. I had my doubts as the whole strand kept winking out as I set them up but I loved the pretty colored glow they created. I sat there gazing at the lights for all one night before I realized I had some significant problems. As I went to turn them off, I brushed against them. Yikes! Super hot! Not great for me but a potential disaster if my little guy reached out to touch them. My mind started to reel as I considered the fire safety issues they posed. I turned them off immediately and recycled them the following weekend.

otherappsimage-1My husband arrived home the next night with the gift of LED holiday string lights. In addition to being cool to the touch no matter how long I wanted to run them, he pointed out that they were shatterproof and used up to 90% less power than traditional lights. Even the large, retro multi-colored string of LED holiday lights he brought me use significantly less energy than strings of incandescent mini-lights.  This last bit was particularly meaningful because we had already seen a significant spike in our energy bill with a new baby in the house. He also noted that in an LED string one light could go out and the rest of the string stays lit, unlike many strings of incandescent lights. I was sold! By the next Christmas, we replaced all our old incandescent string lights with strings of LED lights.

otherappsimageInspired, by the improvements I could see with our Christmas lights, I also started changing out the incandescent bulbs all around our house for ENERGY STAR Advanced LED bulbs. We love how long they last (up to 20 years!). Of course, we appreciate the 75-90% savings over incandescents when we get our electric bill too.

During these short winter days full of sparkling lights why not join me in the switch to LED? Head on over to PG&E’s Marketplace it’s a great place to shop for LED everyday lighting and other Smart Choice products. To learn more about making the switch to more energy efficient lights visit PG&E here or check out PG&E’s holiday lighting tips and this video.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PG&E. The opinions and text are all mine.