This post was originally published on December 16, 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

The cool winter air foreshadows the holiday season, and no holiday season is complete without bright and festive lights adorning every home on the block.

However, behind the glittering lights are a few safety concerns and costly electric bills.

This year, as you bring your holiday decorations up from the basement, consider ways you can integrate your holiday lights into your smart home ecosystem to cut down your electric bill and maintain safety.

How Much Do Your Holiday Lights Cost?

First, it is important to evaluate your average monthly electricity spend. The cost of keeping holiday lights on for the season varies based on the number of lights used, the variety of bulbs and how long the lights are left running.

It can cost you anywhere from $1.50 to $310 to display your home’s festivity, depending on how modest or excessive your light usage is. Use the Christmas Lights Electricity Cost Calculator to evaluate just how much you spend each season. You may be surprised by your results.

Stay Safe, Save Money and Create Convenience

The following four tricks will allow you to keep all the merriment without the high costs and associated safety risks.

1. Switch to LED Lights

Incandescent bulbs are less expensive to buy than LED bulbs, but are much more expensive to power. In fact, the cost to power incandescent bulbs can be up to 90 times greater than powering LED bulbs. We suggest springing for the LED lights to save more money in the long run.

2. Only Use Designated Outdoor Lighting

When purchasing holiday lights, check the box to ensure that they are approved for outdoor use. Decorating your home’s exterior with lights that are not specifically made to withstand the weather can be dangerous.

When storing lights, keep indoor and outdoor lights separate so you don’t accidentally use the wrong ones.

3. Don’t Overload Circuits

An overloaded circuit could lead to a temporary power outage, blown fuses and risk of electrical fire. Avoid this by limiting the quantity of holiday lights to any one circuit.

The box your lights came in will specify the amperage needed to power the strands. Most homes have 20-amp circuits; however, you should check your breaker box to see the exact specifications for each circuit.

Furthermore, as a rule of thumb, never load your circuit to more than 80% of its capacity.

4. Automate Holiday Lights

Here’s where the real savings come in. Through smart home and home automation technology, you can schedule your lights to turn on and off at set times—it’s environmentally conscious and will save you money.

We recommend using your home automation system to schedule exterior lights to turn on at dusk and off around 11:00 p.m. or 12:00 a.m. This way, the lights are only on during highly trafficked times, meaning you won’t spend money on electricity when no one is around to see your lights. Plus, outdoor lighting enhances your home security by discouraging potential intruders and minimizing hiding spots.

Take this technology one step further by controlling your lights remotely or with smart assistants. Using smart lights and plugs, you can set up your entire holiday light show to turn on with a simple voice command.

Cut your energy costs and keep your home safe this holiday season with a smart lighting setup. Connect with a trusted security vendor to explore all the energy management and smart home options available.