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5 Tips for Responsible Holiday Lighting

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Star of Bethlehem
Star of Bethlehem

Many people love the warm, inviting ambiance of holiday lights, and with a few simple steps, we can enjoy holiday lighting while honoring the night. Here are 5 tips for responsible holiday lighting:

1. Give your lights a curfew. Creatures living outdoors are negatively impacted by artificial light, and having lights on all night is bad for people too, so consider limiting holiday displays to special occasions, and at the very least, turn off your lights before bedtime.

2. Go light with your light - use the least amount of light as needed in your display. Too much light looks bad, plus it is expensive and wasteful. A little light goes a long way. Rather than compete for who has the biggest and brightest display, be artful and meaningful with your lights. After all, the starry heavens are the inspiration for many of our holidays, so let's not spoil the view with too much artificial light.

3. Direct light to where it is needed. Use shielding and point it down. Nobody likes to see glare from unshielded lights. Not only does it hurt and make you squint, but it impairs people’s ability to see. Remember, looking at a holiday display should be pleasant and beautiful, not uncomfortable to the eyes.

4. Use low color temperature (2700 Kelvin or less) bulbs. Blue and white-colored light, as well as flashing lights and rotating colors, degrade the natural environment more than warmer tones. Amber, gold, and red light have a lower color temperature and cause less harm on the environment while still providing plenty of light for your needs.

5. Holiday lights are special. If you leave them up too long, they lose their meaning. Limit holiday lights to 75 days or less each year. Better yet, consider staying away from artificial holiday lighting when celebrating the holidays. Instead, enjoy the natural light at night from the stars, moon, and sparkling snow for a wonderful and healthy holiday experience for all.

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