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Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Christmas lights are no longer causing a spike in electricity consumption

According to lighting manufacturers, it’s due to the increase in the numbers of LED lights being used.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTING IS causing less of a demand on Ireland’s electricity supply grid, authorities say, and could be due to the use of new technology.

EirGrid, the state-owned body with responsibility for monitoring the supply and demand of electricity , say a notable increase in consumption previously associated with Christmas lights has not been seen over the past three years.

“In recent years it hasn’t been so obvious,” spokesperson Michael Kelly said, “while four or five years ago it was possible to see a noticeable difference.”

“It’s also worth noting that demand in general is usually lower over Christmas, as more people are at home. During Christmas day there is an even lower than normal level of electricity usage for a holiday”.

One of the largest suppliers of festive lighting in Ireland, the Fantasy Lights Group, believe this is down to a transition to Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights.

Chairman Gabriel Byrne told that as much as 95 per cent of Christmas lighting sold is now LED technology, using a faction of the power traditional incandescent bulbs use.

“If you take George’s Street in Dublin city centre for example,” he said, “each row of lights uses roughly 40 watts. Before we replaced our lighting with LEDs, one bulb alone would have used 15 watts.”

“A standard set of curtain lights, like you would see in a shop window, now uses only 20 watts compared to 600″.

Byrne also noted that they have just as many lights on display as they would have in 2007.

Read: Woman uses Christmas lights to give her neighbours the middle finger >

More: 11 of the most non-traditional Irish Christmas traditions >

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