Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE - Janita Singh

CEL­E­BRAT­ING Christ­mas with lights doesn’t have to cost a for­tune if you make smart choices.

Aus­grid’s en­ergy ef­fi­ciency spe­cial­ist Robert Simp­son says peo­ple in the mar­ket for new lights have plenty of en­ergy-ef­fi­cient op­tions to choose from.

“We’re for­tu­nate that our Christ­mas is dur­ing the sum­mer months when nights are shorter, so there’s no need to have your lights on for a long time,” Simp­son says.

“You can also choose so­lar-pow­ered lights, which are great for out­doors but can be ex­pen­sive to buy.”

If you’re dec­o­rat­ing in­side your home, Simp­son says the key is to look for LED or fi­bre op­tic tech­nol­ogy.

“A string of 100 LED fairy lights is cheap to buy and cheap to run, adding only about 20 cents to your elec­tric­ity bill when run for 10 hours each evening in the month be­fore Christ­mas.

“The older-style fairy lights are more ex­pen­sive to run than LED.

“But no mat­ter what type of lights you use, an easy way to save is to only switch them on for shorter pe­ri­ods. If the lights are switched on for four hours rather than 10 a night you can save 60 per cent on the run­ning costs.”

Don’t forget other elec­tri­cal dec­o­ra­tions, such as mo­torised spin­ning Christ­mas trees, can use more elec­tric­ity than Christ­mas lights if left on for longer, he says.

“Out­doors, so­lar-pow­ered lights al­low you to make the most of the sun­shine so you can enjoy light­ing up your home with zero im­pact on your en­ergy bill.”

Those in the mar­ket for new lights have lots of en­er­gy­ef­fi­cient op­tions, en­ergy spe­cial­ist Robert Simp­son says.

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