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Dulley's Money-Saving Tip #1048

Use midget Xmas tree lights

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The most energy-efficient types of Christmas lights are midget bulbs. These are very small tubular-looking bulbs and they use significantly less electricity than standard colored bulbs. For example, an entire strand of 35 midget bulbs uses less than 20 watts of electricity as compared to about 7 watts for a single old standard bulb.

The midget bulbs are available in strands of more than 100 bulbs. Although each bulb in the 100-bulb strand does not burn as brightly as one in a fewer-bulb strand, the additional bulbs appear more decorative. Therefore, you use less electricity with the same or better decorative appearance.

When a midget bulb burns out, even though the other bulbs in the strand stay lit, replace it as soon as possible. Otherwise, the life of these remaining bulbs is reduced. You can determine the proper replacement bulb voltage by dividing the number of bulbs in the strand into 120 volts. For example, a 50-bulb strand uses 2.5-volt bulbs.

If you do still like to use the standard-sized bulbs, select the newer energy-efficient cool bulbs. These cool bulbs use only about 5 watts, much less than some of the older bulbs.