LADWP Offers Customers Tips For Efficient & Safe Holiday Lighting
Los Angeles-As Los Angeles residents and businesses start to decorate their homes, offices, and Christmas trees for the holidays, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) wants to remind customers that it’s easy to also be an energy-efficient and to help the environment.
“We can all celebrate the season and be mindful of our energy use. There are a variety of lighting options available that can help make this a festive yet energy-efficient season,” said LADWP Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David Nahai.” He added, “Helping the environment, by being mindful of energy use is a gift we can give to our community and planet.”
Customers are encouraged to utilize energy saving light-emitting diodes (LED) lights when decorating their homes, trees and workplaces. LED lights often can cost a little more, but utilize one-tenth the energy of traditional incandescent lights. LED lights also last longer, with the average strand lasting about 200,000 hours versus a traditional strand of incandescent lights that will burn for between 1,000 to 2,000 hours. LED lights are also more sturdy and do not break as easily. This can be an important safety factor. In addition, LED lights also do not emit the heat that traditional bulbs do, so they are less of a fire risk.
The LADWP also urges its customers to remember the importance of electrical safety when stringing decorative lights and operating holiday devices such as model trains and inflatables.
Holiday Lighting Energy-Efficiency Tips
– Use a timer to automatically control when your holiday lights turn on and off.
– Use energy-efficient holiday lighting products. As the following table illustrates, some bulbs use energy much more efficiently than do other types.
Type of lighting Bulbs per strand kWh* per strand per day (5 hrs.) Cost** per strand
Icicle light strand 150 bulbs, 1.90 watts ea. 1.425 $5.13
Reg. outside strands 20 bulbs, 7.00 watts ea. .700 $2.52
Reg. tree lights 25 bulbs, 5.00 watts ea. .625 $2.25
Midget “twinkle” 50 bulbs, 2.00 watts ea. .500 $1.80
Energy-saver minis 50 bulbs, 0.40 watts ea. .100 $0.36
LED holiday lights 50 bulbs, 0.04 watts ea. .010 $0.04
* Kilowatt-hour – using 1,000 watts for one hour
** Assumes an average rate of $0.12/kWh. Actual costs depend on total consumption.
Holiday Lighting Safety Tips
– Keep electrical connections off the ground and away from moisture. Water and electricity are a deadly combination.
– When hanging lights, make sure staples, tacks, and nails do not pierce or pinch wires. Use plastic zip cords instead.
– Never get closer than 10 feet to power lines. Remember, trees may have power lines running above, near, or through them. Do not throw light strands or electrical cords into trees.
– Do not use lighted candles on trees or decorations. During power outages use flashlights instead of candles.
– Use only lighting and cords approved by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent, nonprofit organization that tests electrical components and equipment for potential hazards.
– Check all indoor and outdoor decorative lighting for frayed cords, broken wires and loose connections. If you find a problem, throw the strand away!
– Change bulbs only when the lights are unplugged.
– Use lights and extension cords designed for outdoor use if placing them outside. Be sure to keep clear of drainpipes and railings to prevent any risk of shock.
– It is a good idea to use a ground fault circuit interrupter on each circuit. If a current leaks through frayed or damaged wires, the interrupter will shut off the lights.
– Unplug lights when you leave home or go to bed. Use a timer so that they’re on only during the hours you select. This can also help you save energy.
– Use only three strands of lights per electrical cord/outlet. An overload could cause a short circuit and a fire.
– Keep indoor trees well watered so that they won’t dry out and become fire hazards. Make sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby and make sure that your smoke detectors are working properly.
– Keep lights away from carpeting, furniture, drapes and other combustible materials.
One can also reduce energy and be environmentally friendly by using natural decorations, such as popcorn, cranberries and fruit. Lighting can also be a great gift idea for the holiday season. Gifting someone with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) can update a room and save the receiver money all year long. Arranging a selection of different types of CFL bulbs in an attractive basket will please most everyone on a gift list.
The LADWP offers a wide selection of programs and rebates to help customers save money and energy all year long. Information, as well as tips for saving energy and water can be found on the web site www.ladwp.com and Click on Programs and Rebates.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, established more than 100 years ago to provide reliable water and electricity to the city’s residents and businesses, serves more than 3.9 million people in Los Angeles.