For many of us, Christmas is the most magical time of the year. Let’s face it, after the 2020 we’ve all had, we deserve as much joy and magic as we can get! But it’s also the time of year when a lot of households use a massive amount of energy and kickstart January with a hefty electricity and heating bill. That’s the kind of ‘Happy New Year’ surprise you really don’t need!
At Oliver Lamps, we want to help you use your energy in the most efficient, money saving, and planet-friendly way possible. So, here are our top tips for reducing your energy consumption over Christmas, while still enjoying a merry and bright festive season!
Be LED smart
Home lighting – especially Christmas lighting – can be one of the biggest energy wasters at this time of year.
Although we don’t currently sell Christmas lights, we’d encourage you to shop with a reputable supplier and put LED Christmas lights at the top of your list when you’re choosing festive decorations. There are a lot of different types available – for your Christmas tree, around the house and outside your home – and LEDs use up to 90% LESS ENERGY than traditional incandescents. They also have an average lifespan of up to 50,000 hours, which is a whopping 48,000 HOURS LONGER than incandescent filament bulbs.
LED lights are much, much safer to use as well. A lot of people keep their Christmas lighting switched on throughout the day and night, which can be especially dangerous when using filament bulbs because there’s a high risk of fire. Even over short periods of use, filament bulbs can grow very hot very quickly, so imagine how hot they’ll become over several hours.
LED bulbs run a lot cooler than incandescents. Even though they do produce heat and may feel hot to the touch when used over prolonged periods, they produce light at a significantly lower temperature than other bulbs. In fact, an LED light in its hottest part is still only half the temperature of a halogen or incandescent bulb that emits the same amount of light. As a result, there’s much less chance that an LED bulb will catch fire AND they work at a lower voltage. LEDs are also far less likely to break, and they’re better at withstanding the cold and damp weather; that’s perfect if you want to use them to decorate the outside of your house.
And while we’re on the subject of outdoor lighting, please check out the great range of outdoor string lights we’ve got in store when we reopen at the beginning of December! Plus, even though we don’t stock Christmas lights, coloured LEDs can be just as delightful and eye-catching and can create a cheerful, inviting ambience in every home. Unlike Christmas lights, you can enjoy them the whole year round as well! We’ve recently put some fabulous, coloured LEDs in our shop window and they’re grabbing as much attention as the more conventional Christmas lights hung up around the town!
Why not pay us a visit or give us a call to find out everything we have to offer?
This is important
When you buy LED Christmas lights, DON’T buy them second-hand and DO make sure they carry the British Safety Kitemark or CE Safety Standard mark. ALWAYS inspect cables and bulbs for damage before using, replace them if they’re unsafe, and dispose of them responsibly. DON’T run cables under carpets because that’s a big fire risk and ALWAYS keep the lights away from flammable objects, pets, and curious tiny children.
Timing is everything
Of course, one of the many advantages of LED smart lighting is that you can control it at the touch of a finger, or simply by asking your Alexa or Siri to make the changes for you. After all, who wants to leave the comfort of their cosy armchair to dim the lights when they’re feeling sleepy after Christmas dinner? Or setting a timer to limit the amount of time your lights are on is also a great money-saving (and home safety) suggestion. That way, you won’t wake up in the middle of the night, worried that you forgot to turn the Christmas lights off.
Energy-efficient lighting controlled via a smart app or timer can also be a big bonus if you’re lighting up your garden or the exterior of your home. On average, a household that doesn’t use outdoor energy-efficient lighting over the Christmas period can easily add an extra £20-£30 to their energy bill.
More energy saving ideas
Not using it? Unplug it!
Turn off and unplug any electrical appliance you won’t be using over the Christmas period unless it has to remain on ‘sleep’ or ‘standby’ to function correctly. Items like computers, printers, TV and games consoles can drain a lot of energy.
Wash on a lower temperature
There always seems to be so much more clothes washing to do over Christmas, and a lot of people think that washing on a higher temperature will make their items cleaner. That often isn’t the case. If you wash your clothes with the right detergent at 30 degrees, you use up to 40% less energy.
Keep those Christmas presents working… planet-consciously!
A lot of Christmas gifts, especially children’s toys, require batteries. Instead of wasting money on disposable batteries, which can be extremely harmful to the environment and wildlife if they’re not disposed of properly, choose rechargeable batteries instead. Even though you’ll get slightly longer life from a disposable battery in high-drain devices like toys and torches, the battery life of disposable and rechargeable batteries is virtually the same in low-drain devices like remote controls and clocks. Much more importantly, you can use rechargeable batteries again and again, saving you money, frequent trips to the shops, and reducing the likelihood of very grumbly kids and dads on Boxing Day! Rechargeable batteries also use up to 60% less energy.
We tend to use the oven a lot more than usual over Christmas, but how many times do you switch the oven on and off to cook things separately, when putting several items in at the same time could save you both time and energy? A full oven uses the same amount of energy as a half-empty one, so why waste the heat? Also, a microwave uses less energy than an oven, so use your microwave as much as possible to heat up your food.
Keep warm but turn down the thermostat!
Wearing some warmer clothes or snuggling under the duvet to watch the Christmas blockbuster is a lot less expensive (and more environmentally conscious) than turning up the thermostat. Turning up your thermostat by just one or two degrees can result in a 40% increase in your energy bills!
Also, keeping curtains closed at night will retain heat inside rooms and prevent warm air from escaping through the windows, and always move furniture or bulky items away from radiators because they’ll trap the heat.
There you have it – our top tips for an energy-saving Christmas! In the meantime, don’t forget that our shop will be reopening as soon as lockdown’s eased at the start of December (check our Facebook page, website, or give us a call for opening times) and our friendly team are always here to take your calls and answer your email enquiries. If you’re looking for a stylish lighting-related Christmas present, or a classy home furnishing to brighten up your festive lounge or bedroom, you’ll be delighted by what we have in store. Give us a call on 01328 855028 or email [email protected] to find out more.