Whether you string up hundreds of Christmas lights or keep your home minimal during the holidays, a BC Hydro report titled ‘From Grinch to Griswold’ sheds some insight on the best lights to use for winter decorations.

According to the report, 57% of British Columbians put up outdoor holiday lights.

These decorators range from Grinches (no holiday lights) to Griswolds (from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation fame) who put up at least 10 strands of lights “and often much more to light up the entire block,” reads the report.

While decorations and lights are always a treat to look at, BC Hydro says they’re a significant use of energy in the winter.

“Outdoor holiday displays are a big consumer of power; they account for nearly 3% of the provincial electricity load during the holiday season.”

To help reduce the amount of energy used, BC Hydro cites the use of LED lights — which use 90% less energy — as a great way to reduce consumption and personal cost over the holidays.

“Holiday electricity usage would have been even greater had it not been for the introduction of LED holiday lights.”

The Cost

“Clark Griswold’s infamous light display in the film National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation would have cost him around $4,700 during the holiday season using incandescent lights, compared to the $54 it would have cost if it was lit by LEDs,” says the energy company.

According to the report, the average BC resident sets up 8 strands of lights over the holidays, and if all bulbs were incandescent lights, energy costs would be about $40 for the holiday season.

Meanwhile, if LEDs were used the same amount of lights would cost just ¢50.

As the report continues, BC Hydro says that many of the barriers for transitioning from incandescent lights to LEDs have been removed.

“The price of LEDs has decreased significantly as the technology has improved. [Plus], the first generation of LED holiday lights gave off a light that was a much bluer-tone than the pure white of incandescents, which was not ideal for many,” says the company.“

“Today a strand of holiday LEDs can be purchased for around $10 and they are available in a variety of styles, sizes, and colours.”

Lights around the City

Victoria is a hotspot for awesome holiday decorations, and according to the report, one-in-three British Columbians has a neighbour with a “mega display”.

When describing the mega displays, BC Hydro said that “…75% of British Columbians like seeing these in their neighbourhoods—with only two per cent (that might be relatives of Ebenezer Scrooge) calling them an ‘eyesore on the neighbourhood’.”

If you’re one of the 75%, check out last year’s Victoria Buzz light tour map. Our 2018 version will be posted soon!

And if you’re one of the master decorators themselves, you can submit your display to be added to this year’s list!


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