The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Christmas Lights

Are you interested in keeping your electric bill lower this Christmas season? Are you interested in being more environmentally friendly this holiday? Then you’re reading the right article.

Many people like to use string lights to decorate their Christmas trees and the outside of their houses. However, these lights use a lot of electricity, which can lead to some scary electric bills. To reduce costs this holiday season, try the following:

Turn off your lights before going to bed and/or before leaving the house.
There’s no point in keeping your Christmas tree lights on if you’re not around to enjoy them.

Put your lights on a timer.
Timers are inexpensive and can save you the trouble of remembering to unplug your lights at night.

Switch to LED lights
These lights last much longer than traditional lights and are much more efficient. LED lights use up to 90% LESS energy than traditional lights. The start-up cost is higher, but these lights will save you money in the long run. One burned-out LED bulb will not ruin a whole strand, so switching over may also create less hassle.

Switch to Solar Powered Outdoor Lights 
These lights run completely on solar energy, so these lights don’t run up your electricity bill. However, they do require adequate sunlight in order to work properly, so they might not work in all parts of your yard.


Many people also wonder what to do with their Christmas lights after they’ve burned out. Here are a few suggestions:

Keep The Bad Strand For Replacement Bulbs
Sometimes there are still several good bulbs left on a strand that does not work. You can always steal bulbs from the bad strand to replace broken bulbs on other strands.

Make Crafts and Decorations 
Some really cute jewelry and decorations can be made from old Christmas bulbs. This is certainly a greener way to dispose of bulbs than throwing them in the garbage.

Several stores, like Lowe’s, allow you to bring in your old Christmas lights to recycle. Several companies allow you to mail in your old light strands for recycling. Some of these companies offer rebates on new lights or donate proceeds to charity.


For more information, check out these library books: 

Recycling projects for the evil genius by Russel Gehrke.
This book includes really neat crafts and projects made from recycled products.

Green Christmas : how to have a joyous, eco-friendly holiday season by Jennifer Basye Sander and Peter Sander.
This book gives tips and tricks on how to be more eco-friendly during the holiday season.

The Carbon Buster's home energy handbook : slowing climate change and saving money by Godo Stoyke.
This is a guide to reducing your home’s energy consumption. By reducing your energy consumption, you are reducing the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere, which helps slow climate change.

How bad are bananas? : the carbon footprint of everything by Mike Berners-Lee.
This book tells about the carbon emissions needed to make and transport different products.

Green lighting : how energy-efficient lighting can save you energy and money and reduce your carbon footprint by Brian Clark Howard, William J. Brinsky, Seth Leitman.
This discusses the different types of green lighting and explains the benefits of switching to these alternative light sources.


Or check out these websites:

eartheasy: Solutions for Sustainable Living
This is a guide to how to have a green Christmas. 

This article explains how to make jewelry out of old Christmas lights.

This blog article features several different projects you can create with old Christmas lights.

Find this article at