Halloween decorations are second only to Christmas decorations when it comes to American holidays. Planning to light up the holiday? Having a friendly neighborhood competition? Here’s how to keep your electric bill from looking spooky and how to stay safe with electricity with your Halloween decorations and Halloween lights.
How Much Do Consumers Spend Each Year on Halloween Decorations?
First, what kind of money are we talking about? According to the National Retail Federation, consumers spent $9 billion on Halloween in 2018. Over 74% of consumers decorate for Halloween, with a total of $2.7 billion of that $9 billion spent on Halloween Decorations.
(By comparison, consumers spend around $7 billion annually on Christmas Decorations.)
Electrical Checklist for Safe Halloween Decorations
Lighting and electricity are a big part of Halloween decorations. But with electricity, it pays to be safe. Here’s a checklist to make sure your Halloween decorations are safe.
- Use the right extension cord. Use an extension cord that’s rated for outdoor use and based on how far the power needs to travel. If you need a longer cord, purchase one with a 12 or 10-gauge weight. For strings of lights, use 16-gauge extension cord for light runs of 25 feet or less and go with a heavier duty 14-gauge cord for runs over 25 feet.
- Avoid a Trip Hazard. Tape down or clearly mark where electrical cords are to avoid trip hazards.
- Use zip ties. Use zip ties for attaching light strings to your patio or porch railing. If you are using a staple gun, be sure to use U-shaped staples, specially created to avoid puncturing the electrical line.
- Buy the right lights. Lights strings are rated for indoor use, outdoor use or indoor/outdoor. Halloween decoration lights that are used for outdoors are waterproof or water resistant, so it’s important that you buy the right type of lights.
- Use a timer. Use a timer on your inflatables and your outdoor lights. This way you won’t forget and run your decorations all night long.
Benefits of LED Lighting for Halloween Decorations
If you are including Halloween lights as part of your Halloween decorations, LED is the way to go:
- Lower energy consumption: LEDs consume 80 to 90 percent less power than compared to incandescent lights, plus they last up to 100,000 hours. Considering the 3,000 hour average lifespan for incandescent Halloween lights, you’ll save even more by not having to replace your Halloween decorations as often.
- More light strings. With traditional lights, you can only connect four or five strings of lights together on one outlet, limiting the amount of lights you can safely use in one area. With LED lights you can safely connect 20 plus light strings together.
- More color choices. LED lights come in a wider range of colors, are generally brighter than incandescent light strings, and even come in strings connected to dimmers for different lighting effects.
- Longer lasting. Any LED lights you buy this year will pay for themselves over the next few holiday seasons.
- Safer for pets and kids. LED lights don’t produce any heat, unlike incandescent bulbs. This means they’re safe for use within reach of children and pets.
The bottom line is that LED lights are a much improved version of your old holiday light collections, for both inside and out.
Halloween Decorations with LED Halloween Lights
Gone are the days when a simple carved pumpkin will suffice. Today’s Halloween decorations are a little more over the top. Here are some top picks to get you started.
Halloween LED Lights are simple to add to your home, and they are inexpensive when purchased from Walmart or Target. (Lights below are from Walmart.)
Halloween Lighted Inflatables are a popular option for Halloween decorations across many suburban neighborhoods. Most of these use LED lights inside. You will also need electrical power for the blower that keeps it inflated.
Instead of a carved pumpkin, try LED Lighted Pumpkins like these LED battery-operated ones from Grandin Road.
If you want an all-season look instead of Halloween decorations, you can tone things down with fall-season Autumn Leaves Light String from Pottery Barn.
However you decorate your home for your Halloween, keep it safe with these tips, and control your electricity costs by using LED lights.
For more information on extension cord gauge, visit LightUp.com