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How Much Would it Cost to Run the Griswold Lights Today?

Remember National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?  In the movie Clark Griswold creates a Christmas light display so massive that he takes down the power to his entire neighbourhood!  What would the Griswold’s electric bill look like if his yard were illuminated by 25000 energy saving LED bulbs? 

Do Christmas lights use a lot of electricity?  The answer lies in the type of bulb that you use to light up the night.

Let’s travel back to 1989 and assume that Clark was using the popular at the time C7 incandescent bulbs in his Christmas light strings.  Each C7 bulb uses about 5W.

5W x 25000 = 125,000 Watts or 125 kW

Let’s also assume that Clark ran his lights for 8 hours per day for the entire month of December.  We’ll use 10 cents/kWh for the sake of simplicity.

125 kW x 8 hours x 10 cents/kWh = $100/day x 31 days = $3100

Griswold Light Display:

  • 25000 bulbs
  • Type =  C7 incandescent
  • Typical wattage of each bulb = 5 watts
  • 5 watts x 25000 bulbs =125,000 watts
  • Run time per day = 8 hours for 31 days
  • 1 month kWh usage based on 10 cents/kWh

Based on the above, it would cost $100 a day to power the Griswold light show and $3100 for the month!

The Griswold energy bill is nuts!

De-Griswold Your Energy Bill With LED!

The Griswold family electric bill would have been considerably less stress producing if those 25000 bulbs had been mini LED.  Let’s see how LED compares to the C7 bulbs of 1989.

0.1W x 25000 = 2500 Watts or 2.5 kW

2.5 kW x 8 hours x 10 cents/kWh = $2/day x 31 days = $62

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