Your Complete Guide to Christmas Bulbs

Defocused colored christmas day background.

It’s the season for Christmas lights adorning our homes, and with it comes a myriad of choices. Christmas lights come in an abundance of colors, shapes, sizes, and types. What you may not know is what type of Christmas lights you choose can have an impact on your electrical bill.

This article is designed to walk you through the differences between different types of Christmas bulbs, and which lights are safest for your intended use.

Incandescent vs. LED

The biggest choice you can make is the type of light bulb itself. There are currently two major types of Christmas light styles, LED and Incandescent. LED tend to be more expensive to purchase but last a very long time and require very little power.

The difference on your electrical bill can be enormous, with most LED bulbs paying for themselves their first season of use.

Incandescent may cost less initially but aren’t worth the added energy costs. Most new Christmas lights use LEDs, so if you’ve been using the same lights for a long time it may be time for a replacement.

Use for Intended Purpose Only

Some Christmas tree lights have larger bulbs or styles that may look like they’d be good outdoors but shouldn’t be used there. It’s important to read the box and choose only lights labeled for outdoor use. Indoor only lights are labeled this way because they are not watertight, so at best you’ll destroy them, and it worst they may be a fire hazard.

Replace Burned Out Bulbs

Before you string up your lights, take the time to check them for burned out bulbs. Even if the light display still works without the bulbs, all the other bulbs will be dimmer because of the missing gap. The missing bulb also still continues to drain power from the line, meaning you’re still paying the energy bill for that unlit gap.

Avoid Overloading Your Circuits

Finally, it’s important to remain aware of how much your lights pull, and not to string too many lights onto one power source. If you add a huge amount of lights on once circuit it can overload the circuits. If you want an amazing display with lots of lights, consider hiring a professional to help you find a safe way to do so.

A good rule of thumb is no more than 1400 watts per circuit. How much energy your lights require will vary depending on their length and style, so check the box to determine how many strings can go on one circuit.

Christmas bulbs are some of the most ornate and beautiful lights in the world. Whether you want an icicle finish melting off the front of your house, or the classic multi-color look, there’s a string of lights out there for you.

You can enjoy the season and all its glory with the Christmas Lights of your choice. Just make sure that you look into their safety as well. New, modern bulbs like LEDs will help keep you safe, and save on your electrical bill too.