How Much Do Christmas Lights Cost To Run?

We answer the common questions of can we afford to keep the Christmas lights on even after the energy price hike, and how much will Christmas lights cost to run at home this Christmas?

Following the latest increase in energy tariffs, everybody has been doing their bit to try and reduce their electricity usage and keep their bill as low as possible. But with the holidays fast approaching, surely we can still keep the Christmas lights on, right? And if so, the big question is... how much does it really cost to run Christmas lights at home?

This is a question that many, and probably most of us, will be asking this coming Christmas season. Of course, when having family and friends over for Christmas dinner, or for a get-together on Boxing day, it wouldn't be Christmas without having the Christmas tree lit up. So understanding the cost of Christmas lighting goes a long way to giving you peace of mind over the coming season.

Are LED Christmas lights worth it?

The short answer is - yes, most definitely! All Christmas lighting nowadays, unless you come across a vintage set being sold off at a discount price in the shops, use LED technology, Which since its conception has always been recognised as the most efficient to run, both environmentally and financially, so that’s a great start.

LED Christmas lights are up to 10 times more economical than the traditional versions that we used to love - you know the ones, where the bulbs could be pulled out and replaced when they burnt out. But with LED, there are so many advantages!

Advantages of LED Christmas lights:

  • Up to 10 Times More Economical
  • Uses Diodes, Which Are Highly More Efficient Than Filament Bulbs
  • Barely Gets Hot Compared to Filament Bulbs
  • LED Bulbs Have An Extremely Long Life Span
  • Super Durable - Can Be Accidentally Trodden On Without Breaking
  • Many Sets Come with a Timer Function as Standard

The reason being is that LED lighting makes use of diodes within the bulbs, instead of a filament. This in turn uses much less power, as only a tiny wattage is required to create the same amount of lumens - and so results in a saving of electric, and on the bill!

Furthermore LED lighting guarantees a long lifespan and the light bulbs are virtually unbreakable, being able to survive being trodden on, and in most cases, suitable for both outdoor and indoor use.

A set of warm white LED Christmas lights turned on.

How do timers work on Christmas lights?

Many of the Christmas lights that we sell come with an integrated timer function as standard, which is a time switch on the controller that automatically controls when the lights go on and off. This helps to prevent energy wastage, and offers autonomous turning on and off of your lights - no longer will you need to remember to turn off your lights before you go to bed!

Most built in timers will run for a period of 4 to 8 hours before automatically switching themselves off. They will then turn on again at the same time the following day, and again turn themselves off. As it gets dark early in late December it's common to have your timer set to come on at around 4.00pm, which will then switch off at 10.00pm on a 6-hour timer - just in time for bed! You can, of course, override the timers, and stay up late, or just not use them and control your lights manually, but they're there if you wish to, and come in super handy to 'set and forget'!

Christmas light running costs

On to the most important question... how much do Christmas lights cost to run? Well, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

A set of 360 LED Christmas lights, on for 8 hours a day over a 30-day period (240 hours in total) would cost you a whooping 36p on average. That's not 36p per hour, nor 36p per day, that is 36p for the entire 30 days! That's just how energy efficient LED Christmas lights are.

A slightly bigger set of 480 LED Christmas lights, more suited to a 7ft - 8ft Christmas tree will cost you on approximately just 60p to run for the total combined running time of 8 hours a day, over 30 days.

If we compare this to other household items, watching television for just 8 hours, or running one cycle of washing in the washing machine would equal, on average, the same as running your Christmas lights for an entire month. Additionally, in many cases, when we have the Christmas lights on, especially on the tree for example, as Christmas tree lights tend to output plenty of light we don’t normally need to put on the normal house lights in the same room as well. This can pretty much counteract the cost by having Christmas lights on instead of the ceiling lights, and in some cases can even save you money depending on the wattage of your existing home lighting.

But what about those big sets of LED cluster lights? They must use a lot more energy right? They do use more, yes, but still only a negligible amount. A set of 2040 cluster lights from the Lumineo brand for example would use around 80p in total when used for 8 hours a day for a month, whilst the even more impressive 3000 cluster light version from the same brand, comes in at around £1.13 when used for the same timeframe.

Based on the average electricity cost of 35p per kWh, which was the average cost of domestic electricity in the UK at the time of this publication October 2022.

  Christmas tree lights can cost less than a takeout cup of coffee.  

Concluding on Christmas light costs

Wrapping it all up, you can relax and take a bit of a breather knowing that you can still have a vibrant and colourful Christmas with the addition of Christmas lights, that hardly cost anything to run as long as you're using an LED set. Afterall, how can it be Christmas without all those twinkling lights!

If you're in need of upgrading your old style lights to new LED versions, shop our range of outdoor Christmas lights, or for decorating the Christmas tree and inside the home, our range of indoor Christmas lights.