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energy efficient holiday decorDecorating for the holidays doesn’t have to mean big electric bills, or a home lit up like the Griswolds. With a little bit of thought and planning, you can decorate for the holidays without causing your electric bills to make you feel like Scrooge.

Decorate for the daytime

Holiday decorating isn’t all about the lights. Think about using garlands and ribbons, which will add cheer without using even a bit of electricity. Wreaths and small trees can make a striking entry display without any lighting. Use tinsel and greenery indoors to create a festive feel.

Use lights deliberately

Be strategic with how you use lights. First, if you are buying new lights, LED lights are a great energy-efficient option for the holidays. They cost only slightly more than conventional lights, last several times longer, and can use up to 70% less electricity. When you look at the big picture of their cost and savings, LED lights are a great option to invest in for your holiday decorating. Also, be aware of how much electricity you are using. You don’t want to string too many lights together or overload your home – be safe with your lights!

Time it right.

Lighting your home all through the night will give you electric bills that will ruin your holiday mood. Be strategic about your lighting and buy timers. There is no need to keep your lights on for half the night. Timers enable you to connect your lights and choose an optimal four or five hours that people actually enjoy your lights. Going a bit further, think about using power strips for your lights and other holiday decor. You can simply turn off one switch as you go to bed versus worrying about turning off several holiday decorations.

Go green.

Literally, go green. Think about ways that you can decorate with natural materials versus plastic and other energy inefficient materials. A couple of potted rosemary trees on your mantel are festive and can be used for months if you take care of them. A live tree can have a smaller carbon footprint than an artificial tree, and they tend to be inexpensive. If you do decide to use an artificial tree, think about purchasing a fiber-optic tree. They utilize LED lights and can be quite beautiful.

Reflect on it.

Maximize your lights by putting them in strategic places. Lights in front of a mirror will seem much more dramatic than a single strand. Layering lights in your tree against a backdrop of a metallic tinsel strand will make them seem that much brighter. Metallic Christmas ornaments and shimmering icicle ornaments will catch the lights and reflect them in a beautiful and dramatic fashion.

Be Creative.

Instead of going out and buying loads of Christmas decor, use what you have. Fill an old Red Rider wagon with greenery and pine cones. Gather all of your lanterns, fill them with candles, and create a dramatic centerpiece. Fill glass vases and bowls with beautiful Christmas balls or clove-studded oranges. Looking at your home’s everyday decor can give you ideas of how to incorporate your everyday items into your holiday decor. Keep it simple, and the decorating that you do will stand out.

Decorating for the holidays should not break the bank. Being smart about your energy usage and about how you decorate will help you enjoy the holiday season, instead of stressing out over utility bills.

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