Guess How Much You’d Pay for Clark Griswold’s Holiday Light Display

It'd be a pretty penny to keep 25,000 lights aglow all month long in Massachusetts.
national lampoon christmas vacation lights

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Warner Bros.

If you want to feel like this…

…you should probably start saving your pennies.

In National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold is bowled over when his extravagant light display finally powers on (at the expense of the rest of the town). The beloved scene from the 1989 film is priceless, but Clark’s modern-day electric bill would be no joke.

A new report by real estate listing site Estately explored out how much it costs to deck out your house with twinkling lights in each state. The standard for comparison? Clark Griswold’s house, of course. His display of 25,000 incandescent bulbs isn’t cheap no matter where you live.

By using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Estately calculated the costs of powering 25,000 incandescent lights and 25,000 LED lights for five hours per day over 31 days. In Massachusetts, it’d cost a whopping $5,281 to keep the lights aglow for the entire month of December, while LED lights would cost $60.

It turns out decking the halls is most expensive in Hawaii and Alaska ($7,552 and $5,656 respectively), and it’s cheapest in Louisiana and Washington state.

So, here’s to LED lights, and the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny Kaye.


Madeline Bilis Associate Editor at Boston Magazine @madelinebilis
mbilis@bostonmagazine.com