Energy efficient ways to light up your home this Christmas

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Nothing illuminates the festive season more than a dazzling display of Christmas lights around the home, however bright lights can blind even the most astute household when it comes to the price of lighting up.

Christmas is a time for joy and happiness – not confusion and cost with the multiple styles of Christmas lights available.

Whilst choosing a display that suits your taste, it’s important to understand the difference between LED and incandescent lights, indoor and outdoor sets, and whether you can plug them into your outlet safely. All these facets are important when it comes to buying appropriate lights for your home and keeping running costs down.

By being aware of the following things, your house is sure to look as festive as you feel when you bills come in!

Light up the right way
• Try using LED (light emitting diode) lights. They are cheaper to run than their incandescent couterparts and last 20 times longer, in addition to being brighter, more durable and cool to the touch with multiple light settings for beautiful displays. A string of incandescent lights consisting of 972 bulbs will cost around $55 to run over Xmas, while 1,200 LED outdoor lights will cost only $7!
• Solar powered lights are safe, environmentally friendly and inexpensive to run although they cost more than LED lights. They also require 8 to 10 hours of sunlight to provide between 6 to 8 hours of night light
• Fibre optic lights (bundles of long, thin strands of pure glass) are also relatively inexpensive to run, however can only be used indoors

Safety comes first
Untitled• Make sure your lights have an Australian approval number (e.g. Q45678; V45896; N47536; NSW25874) or the regulatory compliance logo, especially
if buying from an overseas retailer.
• Use lights which are marked “extra low voltage” (less than 50 volts AC) if you have small children present
• Keep light sets separate from one another unless they are designed for that purpose – connecting multiple light sets may overload the transformer
• Secure outside Christmas lights and cords with insulated holders – don’t use metal tacks or nails
• If you’re having trouble hanging your Christmas lights from the ceiling, try using picnic tablecloth clips instead of tape
• Use power boards instead of double adaptors to avoid overloading the circuit and blowing fuses
• Turn lights off when unattended, regularly monitor your lighting for faulty and burnt-out bulbs, and replace immediately
• Keep lights away from paper, cardboard, curtains, fabric and other flammable material to minimise the risk of accidental fire

Relight and delight
If you’re planning on reusing lights from previous years, follow these quick tips to ensure the safety of your lights:
• Check to see if your lights meet the most updated star ratings for minimal energy wastage
• To minimise broken or tangled Christmas lights, wrap the lights around a toilet paper roll or a cylindrical item
• Be creative with your old and fused Christmas lights. Instead of throwing them out, decorate them with paint and glitter, or glue them together to use as Christmas ornaments. If you’re feeling highly creative, you can even turn them into a wreath for your door!

For more tips to help households save energy and money, visit www.originenergy.com.au/energyexplorer

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