November 28, 2007

     ROSEMEAD, Calif., Nov. 28, 2007—Southern California Edison (SCE) reminds customers that safely decorating their homes, work places and Christmas trees with energy-efficient lighting will brighten everyone’s holiday season. 

     Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights offer SCE customers a number of advantages over traditional incandescent lights:

  • Energy efficiency: LEDs save up to 98 percent of the electricity that is needed to power conventional incandescent, painted or ceramic-coated bulbs.
  • Environmentally friendly:  The low electricity usage of LEDs means less carbon emissions. LEDs require no glass or tungsten because LEDs do not have a filament like incandescent bulbs, nor do the bulbs contain mercury or lead.
  • Safety:  LEDs generate much less heat when they operate so they are cool to the touch and are less likely to overload a circuit.
  • Longevity:  LEDS are much more sturdy and last up to 20 times longer than incandescent holiday light strings.

     LED holiday lights are typically a little more expensive to buy than their incandescent counterparts. But they virtually pay for themselves in the first year’s electricity savings and thereafter, they are the gift that keeps on giving.

     “LED’s are a festive lighting alternative that will provide customers with an energy-efficient lighting option during the holiday season,” said Lynda Ziegler, SCE’s senior vice president of customer service.  “Saving energy is especially important at this time because the state’s tiered rate system can bump customer bills into upper rate tiers and higher per-kilowatt-hour costs during months when usage jumps.”

Holiday Lighting Energy-Efficiency Tips

  • Use a timer to automatically control when your holiday lights turn on and off.
  • Use energy-efficient holiday lighting products. As the following table illustrates, some bulbs use energy much more efficiently than do other types.

of lighting

per strand

Kilowatt-hour* per strand
per day (5 hrs.)

Cost** per strand
for 30 days

Icicle light strands

150 bulbs, 1.90 watts each



Regular outside strands

20 bulbs, 7.00 watts each



Regular tree lights

25 bulbs, 5.00 watts each



Midget “twinkle” strands

50 bulbs, 2.00 watts each



Energy-saver mini lights

50 bulbs, 0.40 watts each


36 cents

LED holiday lights

50 bulbs, 0.04 watts each


4 cents

* Kilowatt-hour – using 1,000 watts for one hour
** Assumes an average rate of 15 cents/kilowatt-hours. Actual costs depend on total consumption as well as the rate tier into which a customer’s monthly usage falls. If usage includes the highest current rate tier, costs could double.

     The utility urges the public to remember the importance of electric safety when stringing indoor and outdoor lighting and using electrically powered decorations which are animated or inflatable. 

Holiday Lighting Safety Tips

  • Keep electrical connections off the ground and away from moisture. Water and electricity are a deadly combination.
  • When hanging lights, make sure staples, tacks and nails do not pierce or pinch wires. Use plastic zip cords instead.
  • Never get closer than 10 feet to power lines. Remember, trees may have power lines running above, near or through them. Do not throw light strands or electrical cords into trees.
  • Do not use lighted candles on trees or decorations. During power outages use flashlights instead of candles.
  • Use only lighting and cords approved by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent, nonprofit organization that tests electrical components and equipment for potential hazards.
  • Check all indoor and outdoor decorative lighting for frayed cords, broken wires and loose connections.  If you find a problem, throw the strand away.
  • Change bulbs only when the lights are unplugged.
  • Use lights and extension cords designed for outdoor use if placing them outside.
  • Unplug lights when you leave home or go to bed. Use a timer so that they are on only during the hours you select. This can also help you save energy.
  • Use only three strands of lights per electrical cord or outlet. An overload could cause a short circuit and a fire.
  • Keep indoor trees well watered so that they won’t dry out and become fire hazards.
  • Keep lights away from carpeting, furniture, drapes and other combustible materials.

For more information about energy-efficient lighting, visit

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     Southern California Edison, an Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, is the largest electric utility in California. SCE serves a population of more than 13 million via 4.8 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.