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Electric bill is in for this season...


JeffF
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Can't believe it, but our electric bill was less this year than last. This year... 45,000 lights using 176 channels of LOR. Last year... ~4,000 lights on all the time with 13 blow ups.

And these are all incandescent btw. Our bill went from ~$70/month to $135. That is awesome imho! How people justify LEDs because of electric savings is beyond me. I buy my incandescent lights at 50% to 75% off so I only pay $0.50 to $1.00 per strand. I'd have to have the same LED strands for 10 years to have them pay for themselves.

At any rate, next year is definitely a go for more lights. I bought ~25,000 more already and I'm hoping to get lots more soon here.

-Jeff (see siggy for feelings about LOR!!!) :P

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Jeffrey wrote:

How people justify LEDs because of electric savings is beyond me. I buy my incandescent lights at 50% to 75% off so I only pay $0.50 to $1.00 per strand. I'd have to have the same LED strands for 10 years to have them pay for themselves.



I loathe my power company so much that I would rather give the money to others when I buy LEDs than risk giving the utility an extra penny.

That is how I justify LEDs -- that and I like the way they look.
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I hear you Johnny. I ordered some sample "retro" C7 LEDs that can be dimmed yesterday and after I did that I figured out how much it would cost just to replace all my C7 lights. At over $1000 I'm having a hard time trying to justify it.

As far as electric capacity... I guess I'm lucky in that I can do all my electrical work. Our service was upgraded to 200A a few years ago and I added a 100A sub for the lights and a generator sub for our generator. Now I'm talking with an electrician friend regarding the addition of another 200A panel for just the lights.

Didn't really mean to come off bashing LEDs but I just don't think the argument about saving electricity is as valid when you are running sequences with LOR. ;)

-Jeff

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Jeffrey wrote:

I hear you Johnny. I ordered some sample "retro" C7 LEDs that can be dimmed yesterday and after I did that I figured out how much it would cost just to replace all my C7 lights. At over $1000 I'm having a hard time trying to justify it.

As far as electric capacity... I guess I'm lucky in that I can do all my electrical work. Our service was upgraded to 200A a few years ago and I added a 100A sub for the lights and a generator sub for our generator. Now I'm talking with an electrician friend regarding the addition of another 200A panel for just the lights.

Didn't really mean to come off bashing LEDs but I just don't think the argument about saving electricity is as valid when you are running sequences with LOR. ;)

-Jeff
that and i read somewhere that it takes quite a few years of savings on power to justify the cost of LEDs...by the time youve done that the LEDs are shot and you need to replace the whole strand...while with incandescents you only have to replace the bulb...i for one am sticking with the incandescents
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The LEDS Wal-Mart sells are cheap. $1.75 per strand at 75% off. Plus they have a three year guarantee along with the ability to connect 87 strands end to end. I my electris bill staid the same even though I added a couple of thousand LED lights plus an additional 5 strands of traditional C9's. That is enough justification for me. and this year I bought 4 cases of each color of the mini's red, green, blue, and white. Then I bought 4 cases of the white C9's. So next year will be the ultimate test when I fire them all up running about 25k plus led lights. I will compare my electric bill then with anyone.

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Using my 45,000 lights as an example...
450 strands at $0.50 = $225.00
450 strands at $1.75 = $787.50

Difference needed for electricity to make up added $562.50... umm... to early to figure in kW but my electric was ~$65 more for this month so that would be ~8 years(rough estimate).

Like I said, I don't think money can really be the driving force for us. Color on the other hand... that's why I ordered those samples because they do seem more vibrant. The wifey and I just hate the flicker we've seen with soo many LEDs though so we are a bit apprehensive about them.

-Jeff

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did you have to do a power upgrade to run those lights or alter the outlets at your house to run them? I look at the total combined cost not just power usage. I guess it is whatever you prefer and or feel. I do not have any flicker issues with the LED lights I have bought except a couple of strands of blue that are either all on or nothing. But I got those 4 years ago when the price was through the roof and no one was even really using them. I did not use a true controller until this past year. I also assume the cost of electricity is different in different parts of the county, plus what you heat your house with is also a factor. All electric house... so my electric tends to fluctuate a little.

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cobergas wrote:

I also assume the cost of electricity is different in different parts of the county...

That's the kicker for us... we live in NY and have the 2nd highest electric rates in the US. My wife keeps asking me if they made a mistake reading the meter and I've gone out and checked and everything is spot on for our bill.

And oh yeah, we upgraded loads of things for the Christmas lights. I probably would have done most of the upgrades even if we went LED because I really like having all those GFCI outlets where I need them but we would have probably saved on some of the breakers(going from a 60A 240v to a 100A 240v cost an extra $40 itself).

I think you nailed it though... it's basically whatever people "feel" is how they go. I think for me, I just can't see the "to save $$$ on electricity" argument because of our bill.

-Jeff

p.s. Here is a page with all of our electric upgrades...
http://www.mainelights.org/OutsideOutlets-backup/
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I had talked to a contractor about upgrading our service (and relocating some high powered outlets). It was going to cost $$$$ for the work.

When I started to use LEDs, the lights inside my house quit dimming to the music and I could use my microwave at the same time too.

I still relish the idea that our corrupt power utility is getting hosed out of $100 a year because of them too.

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Yeah I am trying as hard as possible to keep from upgrading and the only way I have found is to continue to purchase LED lights. I mean This hobby will get you either way on the front end or the back end for electricity either way. I havea real good friend that is an electrician and he was laying out the cost of upgrading the electircal to support my habit if I conitnued to purchase the incadencent minis. Right now I only use three gfci outlets that are located in the basement, and that is running about 15k lights. I still have to watch the additional loads that I put on the breaker but I have not got the humming yet soo I am still happy. My lights do not dim as well. So I dunno I think things will be playing out the next couple of years and LEDS will become more and more prevelant. I went ahead and dived right in head first though.

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  • 4 months later...

I am curious about what strategies people are using with the larger light shows to help keep their power bill down.

I have about 10K of lights and 12 blow up displays. I currently have 32 channels to run my lights. As I replace light strings I have been replacing them with LED strings. As my show grows so does my power bill. I am beginning to think that I need to cut back on my blow up displays to help cut back on my power bill.

I am thinking that I need to add up what each inflatable draws for power and totalize my light strings.

Any ideas or suggestions would be great on what people are doing to help keep the power bill down and have a great show.

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As far as limiting the power bill as discussed in this whole thread LED vs. traditional lights. Also,your total static time will be a big factor in how high your bill will go. If you run your show for four hours nightly and do not turn all the lights on at once and leave them on you should not see a real increase in your electric bill. As far as inflatables go I am not sure on the total pull for those but I am sure they can add up quickly.. like any blinky fanatic will tell you about adding c9 lights to any display..

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