Decorating during the holidays is a tradition for many, a mission for some. But keep in mind those lights can put a dent in your budget if you’re not careful.
Here are five ways to keep holiday electricity bills in check while still looking good:
Dump your old lights. Go with LED lights which use 90-percent less electricity and last 10 times longer than old-style lights. If you have lots of the old , start weening yourself off this year by incorporating new LED lights where you can and using less of the other stuff.
Use timers. You can pick up a timer for about $20 or less, that way you can leave your lights without worrying you will forget and leave them on all night to entertain the neighborhood stray cats.
Go with smart strips. Newer power strips allow you to selectively turn on some fixtures while leaving others off.
Choose appliances and electronics carefully. Whether for a relative, friend or your family, look for the Energy Star label. These products use 40 percent less energy and will help keep future utility bills in check.