Christmas Lights Switch: How Much Cheaper Is It to Use LEDs in Your State?

You can’t put a price on festive cheer - but your utility company can! With electricity costs on the rise, decorating your house with Christmas lights this season will be pricey. Here’s a state-by-state look at the savings from running LED Christmas lights instead of standard incandescent lights in 2022.

It's the most wonderful time of the year – but perhaps not for your electricity bill. With energy prices on the rise, Christmas lights may have you feeling a bit more like Scrooge this holiday season when it comes time to decorate your home.

Your choice of Christmas lights can have a surprising impact on your energy bills. In this article, we'll explore how much LED and incandescent Christmas lights cost, in which states it costs the most to run them, and how much you can save on your electric bill by switching up your light selection this year.

LED vs. Incandescent Christmas Lights Cost

When buying new Christmas lights for your home, you may wonder whether LEDs or the more traditional incandescent lights are more cost-effective. Here are some key things to keep in mind when purchasing your Christmas lights:

Incandescent lights are more affordable when considering the upfront costs and installation. When buying Christmas lights, you can expect to pay around $5-$20 per strand for incandescent light vs. $6-$60 per strand for LEDs.

While cost is an important factor, there are other differences to consider. Fewer strands of incandescent lights are needed, since they have more lights per strand, and longer strand options available. When it comes to white lights, LEDs emit a bright white light, whereas incandescent bulbs are only available in yellowish white.

Incandescents are hot to the touch after being lit for several hours while LEDs remain cool, despite being on for several hours.

Electricity Cost Savings From Switching to LED Lighting

The map above shows the cost difference between running LED Christmas lights vs. running incandescent Christmas lights this holiday season. Let's say each home uses 265 feet of lights per holiday season, and runs those lights for 5 hours a day throughout all 31 days of December. After calculating the total electricity usage and multiplying it by the cost of energy for each state according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, we calculated the cost difference between running LED and incandescent Christmas lights.

We found that on the national level, homeowners will save $46.19 if they run LED Christmas lights instead of incandescent lights this holiday season

Another key difference between incandescent and LED bulbs is the energy consumed. LED lights use 38 watts and only require one outlet. In contrast, incandescent lights use 1,925 watts and require six outlets.

Which States Benefit the Most From LED Christmas Lights?

Are you wondering which states will see the cost-benefit the most from using LEDs instead of traditional lights? We ranked the top 10 states with the highest savings from using the LED Christmas lights in 2022 below.

StateCost to run LED lightsCost to run incandescent lightsSavings
1. Hawaii$2.60
2. New Hampshire$1.84
3. Connecticut$1.64
4. Massachusetts$1.58
5. California$1.52
6. Rhode Island$1.39
7. New York$1.37
8. Maine$1.33
9. Alaska$1.32
10. Vermont$1.18

The higher the cost of electricity, the higher the cost of running Christmas lights, whether they are LEDs or incandescent. Hawaii and New Hampshire have some of the highest electricity costs in the country. Therefore, running Christmas lights is more expensive in these states. Connecticut, Massachusetts, and California will also be some of the costliest states to run the Christmas lights this year.

The difference in cost between the two types of lights is what really stands out. A homeowner in Hawaii could save $129.33 by switching to LED lights this holiday season. At a time when the cost of living is increasing, that’s meaningful savings. Obviously, the higher the cost of electricity, the bigger the savings when changing incandescents for LEDs. It’s the same story across the nation when comparing how much it costs to run different sets of lights: LEDs are cheaper.

How Much Does It Cost to Put Up Christmas Lights?

While there isn’t a difference in the installation cost between different types of lights, it is an important aspect to factor into your budget if you opt for a professional to carry out the project. Installing Christmas lights for the holiday season can be both time-consuming and frustrating. Rather than taking on this task yourself, hiring a professional to install your Christmas lights might be a better option. The average Christmas lights installation cost is between $250 and $650.

Depending on the company you choose to go with, the cost of renting lights is often incorporated into the cost of installing Christmas lights. This would save you the cost of purchasing the lights and the hassle of needing to store lights until next year.

Professionally installing your Christmas lights typically takes half a day. Additionally, you’ll have removal fees at the end of the season, typically costing between $125 and $350, although most companies will include removal costs in their installation packages.

Make the Season Bright With LED Christmas Lights

The decision to use LEDs over incandescent lights has other benefits besides cost savings.

  • Longevity. LEDs last, on average, 50 times longer than incandescent lights, meaning they don't need to be replaced as often. LEDs last approximately 50,000 hours versus 1,000 hours for incandescent lights.
  • Safety. As we mentioned, LEDs remain cool to the touch. This is important for handling your lights and preventing fires, especially in dry Christmas trees.
  • Sturdiness. LEDs use a semiconductor material rather than a filament, which is used in incandescent lights. This makes them a more sturdy alternative for your Christmas lights.
  • Environmental Friendliness. Led lights are made of nontoxic materials and use less energy than incandescent lights. Additionally, LED lights are recyclable.

While LEDs certainly have quite a few benefits, there's still a time and place to use incandescent Christmas lights. For instance, when you want to achieve a particular look, you use them for a small amount of time, and when cost and efficiency are non-factors.

Remember that you have options for Christmas lights this holiday season. Deck the halls and keep your electricity bill off the naughty list with LED Christmas lights.

About the Author

Irena Martincevic

Irena is an industry analyst at She analyzes and looks for visual ways to simplify data. She researches and writes about home improvement and personal finance.

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