Keep the bills low
DECORATING homes with lights at Christmas is a family tradition many enjoy.
But before hitting the shops, take some time out to plan your lights.
Ausgrid energy efficiency expert Robert Simpson says it is important to consider the following factors: Savings: If you’re in the market to update your Christmas light decorations, your first pick should be LED, fibre optic or solarpowered to keep your bills down, Simpson says.
“Checking the packaging for energy use information is the simplest way to make an educated choice,” he adds.
Solar-powered fairy lights charge up during the day with zero impact on your energy bill. Put the solar panel in an area with full sun.
Simpson says a string of 100 energy-efficient LED fairy lights is cheap to buy and even cheaper to run.
You can pick them up for about $15 and it will only cost you about 50 cents to run for the month (if you switch them on for 10 hours a night).
“LED fairy lights use less than half the energy consumed by standard ones.’’ Safety: You might want to think twice before buying a cheap set. Buy from a reputable retailer and make sure they comply with Australian standards (look for the ap- proval number or the compliance logo on the package).
Finding a bargain online from overseas might save you dollars, but may not comply with Australian safety standards.
Simpson says if you buy second-hand Christmas lights, get them tested by an electrician. If you’re using last year’s decorations, check that all bulbs work and replace them correctly.
Check for frayed cords and don’t piggyback adaptors and keep tinsel and other metallic decorations away from electrical lights; you should also only use weatherproof lights outdoors.