As a kid, I remember asking my dad why he pulled the plug on our Christmas lights at around 9:00 each evening. He said something that came right out of the typical Midwestern dad phrasebook: "What? Am I made of money? Do you know what it costs to run these lights? Do You?"

The answer was no. Of course I didn't know what it cost to run Christmas lights in 1971, I was eight years old. Now that I'm 50 years older and wiser...I still have no clue, so I intend to read this piece with you.

Do you? No, you don't or you wouldn't have clicked on this.

Do I look like I care about the cost of Christmas lights? (Getty Images)
Do I look like I care about the cost of Christmas lights? (Getty Images)

Luckily, Some People That Were Probably Scolded By Their Dads Figured It Out

Those people are the authors of a piece up at, where they took a look, state-by-state, to see what Americans are shelling out each holiday season to light up their homes.

They broke down "light display commitment levels" into three categories: typical usageheavy usage, and enthusiastic usage. With those categories in mind, they looked at the cost to run that amount of LED lights and that amount of incandescent lights per season in each state based on the state’s residential electricity rate.

It's pretty hard to believe that my dad thought eight year old me had any chance of figuring that out.

What a surprise. He looks very handy. (Getty Images)
What a surprise. He looks very handy. (Getty Images)

The Costs Of Your Holiday Lighting In Illinois Is Pretty Reasonable When You Compare

The study ranked the states from least expensive to most expensive, and Illinois showed up in the least expensive category at #12 overall. The length of time they cover is between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, running lights for 7 hours per day. says that Illinoisans in the "typical use" category will pay $2.96 over that time span if they use LED lights, and $19.99 if they're using incandescent lights.

A beautiful display of Christmas lights brighten a dark snowy evening.
Getty Images

"Heavy Use" Illinois residents are looking at a cost of $28.40 for LED lights, and $214.08 for incandescent.

And, "Enthusiastic" holiday light displays, for the Illinoisan who's really, really into stringing up lights will cost users $74.53 for LED lights, and $577.23 for using incandescent.

Which category best describes your house?

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