Do you know how much it costs to leave your electric Christmas candle burning?
There is nothing cosier than brightening up your home, and maybe even your whole property, with Christmas decorations. Thanks to the LED revolution, the costs for this have been significantly reduced. Since we’re frugal Smålanders, in this week’s blog post we look at what it actually costs to leave Christmas lights on.
Sweden is dark in the winter. So it's not at all surprising that we love to light our electric Christmas candles, Christmas stars and other winter lighting at Yuletide.
Fortunately enough, light bulbs are in the process of being phased out owing to their banning five years ago. This has precipitated a minor revolution in terms of energy use. An LED bulb is around 10 times more energy-efficient than an incandescent lightbulb.
But what does it cost? That’s what we’ve tried to figure out.
According to the company Intab, an LED candle costs around 2 kronor to keep burning for a month, whereas an incandescent lightbulb candle costs 20 kronor. Svensk Energi (the Swedish Energy Association) claims that LED candles are actually even cheaper – at a cost of around only 1 kronor per month.
So, for a single household, the changeover does not offer all that much in terms of real money. Savings would amount to 120 kronor per year if LEDs are used in Christmas lighting, according to calculations by Aftonbladet newspaper.
But in terms of the whole country, this constitutes substantial savings of money and energy. The Swedish Energy Agency has calculated that Sweden's one million households save approximately 118 million kilowatt hours due to the changeover. This corresponds roughly to the household electricity of 20,000 single-family homes. Monetarily speaking, this amounts to about SEK 120 million at an electricity price of SEK 1/kWh.
An enlightening example from film
The US is probably the country you associate most with Christmas lighting. For interest’s sake, we can tell you that the American website komando.com worked out what the LED revolution has entailed by using a classic movie as an example: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
In the 1989 film, the character Clark Griswold (played by Chevy Chase) has installed 25,000 Christmas lights on his home exterior. Using US electricity prices, his costs would have gone down from SEK 30,000 per month to 400 kronor. Close to one hundredth of the cost, according to the site.
Outdoor Christmas lighting
Outdoor Christmas lighting is particularly well-suited to LEDs. Indoors, the large energy consumption of incandescent bulbs can be somewhat useful in that they emit thermal heat energy which contributes to household heating.
Facts about the Swedish Energy Agency’s calculations:
From Advent Sunday to Saint Knut’s Day (13 January), a million households in Sweden can save 118 million kilowatt hours by using efficient LED bulbs in Advent and Christmas lighting instead of incandescent bulbs. The example is based on three electric window candleholders, two Christmas stars, two string lights and one Christmas tree light per household. The lighting is on around the clock for 44 days, but one of the string lights and the Christmas tree light are only lit on Christmas Eve, which adds up to 21 days.
At CTC we try to think sustainably in everything we do, and we work tirelessly to develop the most eco-efficient products possible. Read more about the way we think about the environment and quality.