For many around the world, January 5 or 6 marks the Epiphany ‒ the final day of the 12 days of Christmas and the time for all holiday decorations to come down. For others, the second week of January is a typical time for the holiday lights to be unplugged and stored away until next year.
But it’s not that simple. Not anymore.
When Are You Supposed to Take Down Christmas Lights?
The doldrums of January and February, with their short days and bitter cold, cause a large contingent of people to keep their lights up for weeks, even months, after December 25. This act of extended holiday cheer has led to a debate as heated as the question “Is a hot dog a sandwich?”
So when should you take down your holiday lights? Short answer: Whenever you feel like it.
But let it be known that some consider it gaudy, or even lazy, to leave lights up deep into January. On the other side of the holiday lights argument, there are good reasons to keep lights up. It’s an easy way to stay festive in those dark and gloomy months. There are several other factors to weigh, however.
Are You Ready for the Energy Costs?
Your electric bill will see a significant increase if you keep your lights on for a quarter of the year. The severity of the increase will depend on the type of lights you use. Energy.gov states that powering a six-foot Christmas tree for 40 days with incandescent C9 bulbs will add $10 per month to your electric bill.
Rather than using those expensive old-school lights, consider mini-LED C9 lights. They’re more energy efficient, and some manufacturers offer innovative features like programmable color changes and twinkles.
What Do Your Neighbors Think?
The temperament of your neighbors is another thing to consider. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind your lights being up for longer than usual. They’ll appreciate it, especially if the glow of your lights can be seen from main areas of their homes. Offer to turn off your lights at a specific time each night, depending on your neighbors’ preferences. Then purchase a timer to be sure you’re consistent.
Do You Want to Wait as Long as Possible?
If you need a hard cut-off date but want the cheery lights to be up for a while, consider February 14, Valentine’s Day. It’s the next major holiday after New Year’s Eve and a solid date to circle on your calendar for holiday light tear-down.
On the extreme end, some enthusiasts believe that February 28 is the last day to leave your lights on. Many believe in transitioning from holiday lights to more understated “winter lights.” If winter lights are your decorating choice, then enjoy the bright lights of winter!
Do you need help taking down, installing and maintaining your holiday lights? Mr. Electric is here to help. We can help with your holiday lighting no matter how long you leave it up. Contact Mr. Electric today!