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Home Living : December 11th 2012
SMART SHOPPING LIGHTEN UP FOR CHRISTMAS ADD FESTIVE CHEER WITHOUT BLOWING THE POWER BILL Janita Singh WHAT THEY COST Christmas decoration energy use: A string of 400 standard fairy lights cost $3.50-$16.80 a month A string of 400 LED fairy lights cost $2 a month A 6m LED indoor/outdoor rope lights costs $1.20 a month 20 LED indoor candle lights cost 20c a month ENERGY EFFICIENT Ausgrid s energy efficiency expert Paul Myors says fairy lights are cheaper to run with one string of 400 fairy lights using less power than a standard light bulb. If you switch on a string of 400 older style fairy lights for 10 hours every night during December, it can add between $3.50 and $17 to your power bill, he says. My Myors says LEDs are the most efficient option, using up to eight times less power than standard fairy lights and they will only cost about $2 to run during Christmas. Solar powered LED decorations are a great option. After choosing energy efficient decorations, you can save more money by remembering to turn them off when they re not needed, like when you re sleeping. ausgrid.com.au/waystosave Fairy lights add Christmas magic both indoors and out. CHRISTMAS lights are an es- sential part of the season's cel- ebrations but shopping for them can be overwhelming. For most, price will deter- mine what type of lights they invest in but it's important to pay attention to other details like safety features and energy use, Bunnings national lighting buyer Natasha Ryan says. ''Buy weather-proof. Most people look for energy efficient lights. Invest in solar and LED lighting,'' she says. ''If you're using last year's lighting decorations, check that all bulbs work and replace them correctly according to the manufacturer's instructions.'' Fair Trading warns con- sumers to buy lights from repu- table dealers, saying cheap doesn't always mean bad qual- ity and expensive good. Types of lights and uses: Christmas lights come in all shapes, sizes and with many features including LED, large bulbs, small bulbs, ropes, bubb- les, nets, fairy and zigzags -- to name a few. For energy saving, get LED and solar Traditional bulbs can be ideal for decorating Christmas trees. Rope lights are perfect for decorating outdoors and hard- to-reach places. They can be run along paths or woven around trees and poles. Net lights are a valuable pur- chase. 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December 4th 2012
January 8th 2013