The cheapest and most expensive states to run Christmas lights

Displays of twinkling lights can warm even the coldest of hearts. But to add to their neighborhood’s holiday ambiance, Americans must pay roughly $20 more on average on their electricity bills. 

The cost, though, varies depending on your state. For instance, Hawaii residents could tack on as much as $46 and add to an already-bloated holiday budget by turning their home into an illuminated Christmas pageant, according to a recent analysis by Simple. Thrifty. Living, a consumer research group. 

The national average for running an incandescent light display is $19.81. Hawaiians pay the most at $46.62, while Louisiana residents pay the least at $13.95 to run their holiday light displays. The cost of running lights is over $20 in 14 states. 

Credit: David Foster/Yahoo Finance

Using each state’s electricity rates, the total bills were calculated for a 2,700-square-foot home using both incandescent lights and LED lights for seven hours a day on an automatic timer from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

To make the imaginary display even more festive, the analysis ratcheted up the wattage quotient and added two inflatable lawn ornaments— a snowman and a Santa— for good measure. 

Twinkle lights can be one culprit when it comes to invisible spending during the holidays, but light enthusiasts can cut economical corners while being environmentally friendly by switching to LED lights. The national average for powering an LED light display is only $7.16. 

A beautiful house with big figures and lots of Christmas decorations on Dyker Heights Street at night.

10 most expensive (incandescent lights):

  1. Hawaii ($46.62) 

  2. Alaska ($34.18)

  3. Connecticut ($31.41)

  4. Massachusetts ($30.64)

  5. Rhode Island ($29.39)

  6. New Hampshire ($28.94)

  7. California ($28.74)

  8. New York ($26.38)

  9. Vermont ($26.13)

  10. New Jersey ($23.84)

Christmas lights are seen on a home in the Sleepy Hollow area of Torrance, California. In many neighborhoods of Los Angeles, homeowners compete for the most lavish and creative holiday light displays. (Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

10 least expensive (incandescent lights): 

  1. Louisiana ($13.94)

  2. Washington ($14.21)

  3. Oklahoma ($14.68)

  4. Arkansas ($14.78)

  5. Idaho ($14.78)

  6. Wyoming ($14.82)

  7. Texas ($15.00)

  8. Kentucky ($15.34)

  9. Utah ($15.39)

  10. Iowa ($15.62)

Holiday decorations during a Circle of Trees lighting ceremony, at the Woodmere Art Museum in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA, on November 23, 2019. (Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

10 most expensive (LED lights):

  1. Hawaii ($16.86) 

  2. Alaska ($12.36)

  3. Connecticut ($11.36)

  4. Massachusetts ($11.08)

  5. Rhode Island ($10.63)

  6. New Hampshire ($10.47)

  7. California ($10.40)

  8. New York ($9.54)

  9. Vermont ($9.45)

  10. New Jersey ($8.62)

Holiday lights are seen at a home in the Queens borough of New York. (Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

10 least expensive (LED lights): 

  1. Louisiana ($5.04)

  2. Washington ($5.14)

  3. Oklahoma ($5.31)

  4. Idaho ($5.35)

  5. Arkansas ($5.35)

  6. Wyoming ($5.36)

  7. Texas ($5.42)

  8. Kentucky ($5.55)

  9. Utah ($5.57)

  10. Iowa ($5.65)

Stephanie is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @SJAsymkos.

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