Nugget of Knowledge: Christmas Lights Evolution

Today's lights burn cooler, less costly than years ago

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – We love our holiday lights; drive through any neighborhood in the Valley and you’ll see Christmas light displays.

Virginia has its 100 miles of lights, Pine Mountain, Georgia has a five-mile route through 13,000 acres with eight million lights and, of course, the festival of lights in Oglebay Park in Wheeling, West Virginia.

That’s a lot of electricity we’re burning, but is it going to burn a hole in your winter electric budget?

Let’s do the math based on the national average price of electricity, about 12 and a half cents per kilowatt hour.

The old fashioned incandescent bulbs usually came in two sizes, C9 that uses seven watts per bulb and the slightly smaller C7 that uses 5 watts.

A string of 100 C9’s will cost almost nine cents an hour.

A string of 100 C7’s will cost about six cents an hour.

But today, many of us use the mini LEDs.

To light a strand of 100 of these tiny bulbs for an hour will cost you one half of a penny.

The largest privately owned home in America is the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. The owners are replacing their incandescent bulbs as they wear out, about a third are LED now, they light 335,000 bulbs.

If they were all C9’s or C7’s, they’d cost up to $300,000 to light for the season. If all were LEDs it would be $2,000.

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