MANCHESTER — With the holiday season upon us, neighborhoods are starting to twinkle with festive light displays.
Fortunately, enjoying those seasonal lights doesn't have to break the bank. Eversource is reminding customers about some effective ways to get in the holiday spirit while saving energy and money, and staying safe.
"Before stringing holiday lights throughout the house, or putting the blow-up snowman on the front lawn, it's best to go through a quick safety checklist," said Eversource Vice President of Safety Bob Coates. "It's important to inspect all lighted decorations, particularly older ones, for broken or cracked sockets; frayed or bare wires; or any loose connections. Also, be sure the lights you're putting outside are labeled for outdoor use, always look up and stay away from all power lines when decorating outdoors. Never raise ladders or extend objects anywhere near cables and equipment."
The company also offers ways to help customers better manager their energy this holiday season.
If it's time to replace older decorations, Eversource's energy efficiency experts suggest LED lights which offer many benefits over traditional incandescent lighting.
LED strings generally last much longer than traditional bulbs and longer strings of them can be safely run from the same power source.
In addition to a longer lifespan, LEDs offer significant cost savings. A string of standard incandescent mini lights uses around 40 watts while a comparable string of LEDs typically uses just 4.8 watts, which can make a big difference over the course of the season. For example, three strings of incandescent mini lights, on for 150 hours, will cost about $3, while three strings of LEDs, on for 150 hours, will cost about 40 cents.
Eversource also offers these holiday tips to help customers stay safe and save money, while protecting our planet:
• Never run extension cords under rugs or coil them tightly around themselves, which can cause them to overheat.
• Use a programmable timer for lights to ensure they aren't accidentally left on.
• Check extension cords for wear, and plug outdoor lights and decorations into GFCI outlets.
• Use advanced power strips where possible for all holiday lighting to eliminate standby energy loss.
• Turn off room lights when the tree is lit to save energy while creating a festive atmosphere.