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National Grid offers energy-saving tips for holidays

December 26, 2012
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

BUFFALO - With the holiday season here, it's important to make time to celebrate with family and friends and holiday lighting is a key part of those festivities. By following a few simple tips, National Grid customers can benefit from a more environmentally friendly, safe and cost-effective way to light up the holiday season.

One of the best solutions for holiday decorating needs is the use of LED lighting. These energy-efficient miniature or light-emitting diode lights have definite advantages over traditional lighting because they use 90 percent less energy, which results in significant savings.

"The cost of LED lights is more than traditional lights, but the benefits truly outweigh that," vice president of Customer and Business Strategy at National Grid Edward White said. "By using more advanced, energy efficient lighting solutions like LEDs for holiday decorating, customers will start saving on electricity immediately, and also save on future lighting purchases because LED lights are much more durable and last years longer than traditional lights."

Traditional lighting only offers around 1,500 hours of light and can fade or flake over time, but LEDs feature epoxy lenses that make them almost indestructible so they last much longer, providing up to 100,000 hours of light. In addition, LED's are much safer to use because unlike traditional lights that can get hot and pose a fire hazard, LED light bulbs always stay cool.

Additional tips to save energy and stay safe this holiday season include:

Limit the time lights are on. Wait until dark to turn on holiday lights, then turn them off before going to bed. Six hours or less of daily use is a good goal;

Turn off room lights when the tree is lit. The lights on a holiday tree should provide more than enough lighting to navigate around the room;

Make sure lights have a safety listing from a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as the Underwriters Laboratories. A safety approval seal means the lights have been tested and are safe to use. Use lights only as intended. Always unplug lights before going to bed or leaving home;

While reading labels, be sure to buy the right set for indoor use, outdoor use or both;

Before decorating, check all light sets for frayed wires, damaged sockets or cracked insulation. If any defects are found, replace the entire set;

All outdoor cords, plugs and sockets must be weatherproof. Keep electrical connections off the ground, and make sure wiring is kept clear of drainpipes and railings to prevent any risk of shock. It's also a good idea to use a ground fault circuit interrupter on each circuit. If current leaks through frayed or damaged wires, the interrupter will shut off the lights;

Don't overload electrical circuits. Circuits in older homes carry a maximum of 1800 watts each while many newer homes can handle 2400 watts.



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