How Much Electricity Do String Lights Use?

String lights are a simple and quick way to make your ambiance attractive and relaxing. It does not matter whether you’re using them for Christmas or a casual garden party. These small twinkling lights attached to a string help create a beautiful atmosphere.

They are also surprisingly cheap to run. You can put a thousand strings on the Christmas tree and hardly notice the rise in the electric bill. That said, using string lights can become expensive in certain instances.

It all depends on the electrical consumption. To help you understand better, we’ve discussed how much electricity string lights use in detail below. Read more!

how much electricity do string lights use

How Much Electricity Do String Lights Use?

The electricity used by a string light greatly depends on the bulb type. Generally, there are three types of bulbs found in string lights. These include incandescent, LED, and ceramic.

A traditional incandescent bulb draws around 80 to 90% more wattage than an LED. So, powering it can cost higher too. However, ceramic bulbs are the brightest in the market.

These innovative bulbs make your decoration pop, making everyone stop the track and admire it. But, all of this comes at a great cost. The high-power bulbs can make your bills instantly shoot up.

All that said, while bulb type matters a lot, the number of strings affects the electrical usage too.

Since there are countless different ways to put up string lights, we cannot provide a definite answer to the electricity used.

But, here is a roundup of the most popular options to give you an idea:

1. Mini Lights Power Consumption

Mini lights are the most preferred choice for both indoors and outdoors. Each standard string has 100-mini incandescent bulbs with an electrical consumption of 0.039 kW per hour.

So, if you leave them open for the whole day, it would make 0.0936 kW per day and 28.08 kW per month.

However, if you’re using a string light with 100-mini LED bulbs, you will notice a significant drop. It will use 0.0045 kW per hour, which makes 0.11 kW per day and 3.24 kW per month!

Please note this particular calculation is for a single mini lights string. You can multiply it by the number of strings used to find the total.

2. C7 Christmas String Lights Power Consumption

C7 Christmas string lights, also called ceramic lights, are large and powerful. A standard 25ft string has around 25-bulbs on it.

So, you need more of them to cover large areas like trees.

A single C7 string light constantly draws 0.13 kW per hour. It means 3.12 kW per day and 93.6 kW per month. That’s a lot of power!

However, if you switch to LEDs, it’s possible to cut down the usage by almost 80%.

LED versions use 0.0156 kW per hour, which makes 0.37 kW per day and 11.2kW per month.

3. Rope Lights

Rope lights are a new and innovative type of string light that looks pretty cool.

These decorative lights have small bulbs linked together in a transparent PVC jacket. As a result, they look like a long rope of light.

Typically, rope lights use 3-watts per foot. But, it can also go up to 5-watts depending on the light color. Choosing LED rope lights can reduce this to 1-watts per foot. 

4. Icicle Lights

Icicle lights are those cute and aesthetic string lights that people hang on the roof edge or gutter. Each string is a series of evenly-spaced vertical LED light strings. So, a standard string will have a minimum of 300-bulbs.

These lights use large bulb quantities to shine bright and cover massive areas. It is why the monthly electrical consumption can hike up to 5500-watts or 5.5 kW.

5. Strand of LED Christmas Lights

LED Christmas lights are the most energy-efficient option. But, again, the power usage depends on the type of bulbs.

For example, mini LED Christmas lights will consume around 3.24 kW per month. It is considering you are letting them stay on 24/7.

However, a 25ft C7 LED Christmas light string will use 11.2kW per month. That’s a difference of about 8 kW!

6. Strand of Incandescent Christmas Lights

Incandescent Christmas lights are not the wisest choices if you want to cut down the power usage.

These bulbs shine brighter, though they also consume electricity faster. Since there’s a huge variety, the exact electrical usage depends on the light type.

For example, a strand of 100-mini incandescent lights will use around 30 kW per month. It will hike up to 96 kW if you’re using C7 bulbs.

How to Calculate the Energy Usage Cost?

As mentioned, the electrical consumption of all string lights is different. So, it’s best not to rely on any estimated amount.

After all, nobody wants to experience the shock of receiving an incredibly high bill after a lovely weekend.

Here’s how you can calculate the power usage:

Step 1: Find the wattage used by the bulb.

Step 2: Multiply it by 0.001 to find kilo-watts per hour (kWh).

Step 3: Multiply it by 24 to find the electrical consumption per day. Or, if you will open the lights for a few specific hours, then multiply it by that number.

Step 4: Multiply it by 30 to find the electrical consumption per month.

Step 5: Multiply the amount of power used by the cost of one electrical unit. It is typically 11.3-cents, though different areas may have different charges.

How to Save Energy When Using String Lights?

Electricity is a valuable resource and can become costly when used in abundance.

So, it does not matter whether you’re using string lights for a few hours, days, or a month.

It’s important to ensure you save it in every way possible.

Some efficient ways to save energy when using string lights include:

1. Use LED string lights

Using LEDs is the best method to cut down both power usage and costs.

These energy-efficient bulbs use around 80% less power than regular bulbs. That said, they are just as bright and powerful.

LEDs tend to be more long-lasting than incandescent bulbs. A standard LED bulb can last up to 50,000-hours easily.

Meanwhile, incandescents survive only 1000 to 2000-hours.

2. Track the Time

Another excellent way is to simply limit the number of hours you use the lights.

Yes, we know everyone loves keeping their decorations on all day long, especially during occasions like Christmas.

But what’s the point if no one can see it?

Hence, it’s best to switch the string lights off during the day since the visibility is low.

If you find it difficult to track the time and switch the lights off, you can purchase string lights with timers. It will help you control your usage.


All in all, there is no definite answer to the question; how much electricity do string lights use.

There are countless types of string lights with different bulbs, numbers of bulbs, and arrangements.

And so, every string light will have a different electrical consumption.

To give you an idea, we’ve discussed the common types of string lights and their power usage above.

We hope this has helped determine the answer for your lights. Happy decorating!