Are We Witnessing the Demise of the Christmas Light?

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It’s that time of year when Christmas tunes fill our local shopping centre, we get together with our nearest and dearest and parents are totally cool with their kids talking to a strange old man dressed entirely in red. However, in the midst of all of this Holiday cheer, we have noticed a dark undercurrent emerging in Australian cities far and wide, the decline of the holiday light.

To ensure that Aussies are prepared for this holiday season we decided to investigate the decline of Christmas lights in Australia to find the culprit, analysing whether it’s our geographic circumstances, our accessibility to lighting products or the running cost of using Christmas lights.

Be warned, this is heavy-hitting journalism at its finest…

Aussies do the Holidays a little different to other countries, while the US and England sing songs like ‘Frosty the Snowman’, ‘White Christmas’ and ‘Winter Wonderland’ hauled up in their cosy homes with a hot chocolate and a roasting fire, Aussies are typically lying under the air-con or basking in a summer glow. This has us wondering whether our fun in the sun is impacting our holiday spirit.

Many differences come with a summer Christmas but one of the main ones is that we experience longer days, and as such, less darkness. And what gets used less during the daytime? That’s right folks, lights! It can be fairly hard to reconcile decking your house out in Christmas lights knowing that people will only get to enjoy them from around 9PM onwards. However, although our geographical location can be a bit of a deterrent, we can’t imagine this would prevent the friendly Aussie from denying neighbouring children (and adults!) of Christmas joy.

Another potential factor in our celebratory downward spiral is our lack of access to holiday products in our local stores. For some context we have researched comparable stores between the US and Australia to see our holiday lighting options.

Now, we don’t want to say these figures are horrifying but it does make us think about what type of kitted-out Christmas lights the US market has access to that we don’t.

Consequently, even though these numbers confirm that we have less accessibility to holiday lights, it wouldn’t necessarily prevent those who are seeking to purchase them or people from using decorations from previous years.

~It’s important to note that although the US has a significantly higher population, that should only make a slight difference as this is product offering, not product volume.

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We are all pretty well aware that:

Lights = energy usage
Energy usage = money
Spending money on energy = sadness

However, did you know that for the average Australian household, lighting accounts for 10%1Australian Government Department of Industry, Science Energy and Resources of an electricity bill? With that said, before we shun the Christmas season haphazardly, we want to calculate how much Christmas lights cost for an entire holiday season.
So, let’s break down the potential cost of running Christmas lights and as such spreading love, joy, and holiday cheer.

^For these estimations we presumed you will be running your Christmas lights for a 31-day period for 6 hours per day and at an assumed consumption rate of 31.59c/kWh.

The key take-away from this is that there is a huge discrepancy between the cost of LED lights in comparison to incandescent lights. If you are likely to prefer incandescent, the cost could potentially cause those Aussies to avoid participating in this form of holiday enjoyment. It is also important to keep in mind that these calculations are demonstrating the usage of just one product, so if you were to have your home decked out in lights à la the Griswold family Christmas, your energy costs (and lack of holiday calm) are likely to grow.

Although there may be some deterrents when participating in this form of festive activity, putting up Christmas lights at this warm time of year may not only put a smile on your dial but also bring out joy, happiness and general Festivus merriment for others during the season ahead. So, whether it’s a little holiday sparkle or a grand decorative display let’s get into the holiday spirit Australia!

Not sure if your energy costs will survive the Christmas season? It may be worth comparing from a range of energy plans and providers with iSelect.* To quote ‘Hi-5’ “Santa Clause is coming, Santa Clause is coming, he’s not very far away” it’s time to hang those lights up with a great energy plan!

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