When you imagine a warm, comfortable, inviting home, you probably imagine a home full of light. Whether you’re imagining it in the morning or in the evening, lights are probably part of the image you conjure. When you arrive home at the end of a long day to a dark house, it feels empty, even hollow. On the flip side, a house all decked out with Christmas lights, or that has string lights across the eaves and down the side, can warm the cockles of anyone’s heart. The Scandinavian practice of Hygge even claims that lighting a candle or two of an evening can contribute to a warm winter, and even a fun one.
If you own a home and want to make it special for the holiday season, you may be wondering what you can do, besides getting a Christmas tree and other obvious first steps. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to light up your home without driving your electric bills through the roof. Let’s take a look at some ways to do so.
Compare electric rates, and get a better electric plan.
When you’re putting up your Christmas tree and adorning it, you already have a few things in mind. Maybe you want to make sure that you have the family heirloom ornaments up there or that the crystal star stayed intact after another year in the garage. Another thing you may have in mind is whether this year’s holiday season is going to necessitate a loan just to cover the kWh (kilowatt-hour) you’ll be running to keep your Christmas lights on all day and night.
Sure, you have to have electric lights in your home, but the added expense of running Christmas lights can add up quickly. One tactic is to compare electricity plans in November to make sure that, when the holiday season rolls around, you already have the best rates locked in and the right energy provider picked out.
Not just any Christmas lights will do—get the best bulbs out there.
While you’re at it, you can make sure that the rope lights or string lights you’re using are more energy efficient. If you’re running wires and bulbs that use tons of your electric supply just to stay lit, you could have the best rate in the world and would still pay a hefty energy bill. Taking a few minutes to compare the energy efficiency of your Christmas lights, whether rope lights, string lights, mini lights, or anything else, will help you save. Consider using LEDs for the lowest kWh usage.
Use natural sources of light.
Outdoor Christmas lights and decorations need to be run on power lines, but you can use candles indoors to add light to your living room and bedroom. Candles, of course, come with a set of precautions. Do not place candles near curtains, drapes, or anything flammable. Make sure that your candles are completely extinguished before you leave the room. Finally, any candles will create a small amount of smoke, so it’s a good idea to crack a window after lighting a candle for a while. Nonetheless, a candle-lit living room creates a beautiful atmosphere and is a cheap and easy way to light up your house and get into the holiday spirit.
Regardless of your zip code, it doesn’t have to cost a million dollars to light up your home. From New York City to Los Angeles, and everywhere across the U.S., make sure you compare electric rates, get LEDs for lower energy consumption, and consider candles as an inexpensive option this season. You’ll be enjoying your new plan doing the winter months, and all year long as well.