November 27, 2006
Brighten the holidays, save electricity and money with tips from FPL

JUNO BEACH, Fla. -- It’s the start of the season for holiday traditions – including family feasts, visiting relatives and decorative lighting -- which means plenty of fun coming up.  However, making the holidays bright can also lead to increased energy usage and the potential for higher electricity bills.  Florida Power & Light Company wants to help customers keep energy costs down during this busy, festive time of year and offers the following energy saving and safety information related to holiday lighting.

While many customers use the traditional C7 bulbs and mini-lights newer technologies such as light emitting diodes (LED) can save energy and money.  For example, a 100 bulb mini-light set will cost about $1.73 per month for 10 hours per day of operation compared to 29 cents for 100 LED lights for the same amount of time.  Add-up the number of light strings used and multiply the cost for an illuminating picture.  In addition, LEDs have a much longer life than conventional light bulbs.  They can be used indoors and outside safely.  LEDs are a sturdy, damage resistant alternative to conventional lighting and last up to 100,000 hours or more if used indoors, or about 50,000 hours when used outside.

To further reduce energy costs this holiday season, use timers on lights to automatically turn them off during daylight hours and other times.

Along with energy efficiency, FPL urges customers to be safe this holiday season, too.  The company suggests using these safety tips as you begin your holiday decorating:

    • Never use indoor lighting outside. 
    • Check lights for damage, and throw away broken strings.
    • When decorating outdoors, always look up first.  Don’t raise ladders or other extended objects into or near power lines. 
    • Before installing outdoor lights on trees, make sure tree limbs haven’t grown into or near electric lines, as they can become energized.
    • Don’t place cords under rugs, appliances or other objects, as they may overheat if covered or become worn and cause a fire.
    • Secure cords so that pets and toddlers are unable to play with them.
    • If using conventional lighting use no more than three sets of lights on a single extension cord to prevent overheating and reduce the chance of fire.  Those using LED lights have less fire worries as these lights don’t get hot enough to combust no matter how long they’re left on.
    • Always turn off decorative lights when you leave home or go to bed if you’re using conventional lighting instead of LEDs.

 Throughout the year customers can access valuable information on energy conservation with FPL’s Energy Advisor at www.FPL.com.  Simply click on “Energy Saving Toolkit” to take advantage of advanced features such as easy-to-use calculators that tell you how much you're spending to run specific appliances; unbiased advice to help make the right major appliance purchase; and tips on how simple changes to daily habits can save you money.

FPL customers can also click on the Online Home Energy Survey to obtain expert analysis of energy use in their homes and personalized recommendations for savings.    A customized, printable report provides detailed action steps for lowering bills and links to FPL programs to help customers save further.