Efficient and safe holiday lighting

Power for Progress… a weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority.

Stay safe and efficient this holiday season … GRDA passes along some tips for seasonal lighting from energy.gov.

It’s that time of year again. Time for many of us to decorate our houses with colorful lights to help illuminate the holiday season. However, for many, that also means a little bit of extra electricity usage in the coming weeks. If that is the case in your household, the Grand River Dam Authority hopes you can take advantage of the following seasonal energy saving tips from energy.gov.

  • At the top of the list is, of course, the use of more efficient lighting. If you have not done so already, consider switching to LED lights. They are readily available in many styles and holiday applications and use 70 percent less energy than the traditional incandescent bulbs. They are easy to install and more strings of LEDs can be connected together, end-to-end, than traditional bulbs. Another advantage is that they are durable and last, on average, up to ten times longer than incandescent counterparts.
  • Next, consider the timing of your holiday displays. By using automatic timers to turn your lights on and off, you can keep seasonal lighting costs in check. Set your timers for the prime display hours (evenings) and do not waste electricity by having outdoor lights on all day long.
  • Of course, efficiency is only one element of holiday lighting. Safety is also a key consideration. Whether working with indoor or outdoor lighting, it is important to follow all manufacturer guidelines for usage. Only use lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory and conform to all safety standards.
  • Also, be sure to stay away from power or feeder lines leading from utility poles when putting up your display. Another important tip is to make sure that outdoor electric lights and decorations are plugged into ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).

While these tips may be pretty familiar to most holiday lighting veterans, GRDA passes them along in the hopes that they might serve as a refresher for you this year. 

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.