This Is What It Would Cost to Power Clark Griswold's 25,000 Christmas Lights in Missouri


You know National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, the holiday classic starring Chevy Chase as the clueless (but well-intentioned) Clark Griswold. You also know how Griswold attempts to throw an "old-fashioned family Christmas," complete with 25,000 incandescent lights illuminating his suburban Chicago home. But do you know how much it would actually cost to power that many bulbs?

Real estate website Estately set out to find out. Using the most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Estately calculated the cost in every state to power 25,000 lights for the month of December. The study even includes separate stats for incandescent and LED bulbs, because it's 2016 and we're earth-conscious like that.

So, what will it cost to take your exterior illumination to Christmas Vacation-heights this season in Missouri?

If you're planning to use incandescent bulbs, get your checkbook ready: You're looking at a bill of $3,054. (Sorry everybody, no presents this year!)

If you're jumping on the LED bandwagon, however, there is still hope for your budget. Powering 25,000 lights for 31 days in Missouri costs a mere $35.

That's a steal compared to some other states. Estately determined Hawaii as the most expensive location for lights: Griswold's decorating job would cost $86 with LED lights and $7,552 for incandescent. Alaska came in second, with a $65 bill for LED and $5,656 for incandescent.

While Missouri is a much better deal, it's not the cheapest, either. Louisiana won that spot; LEDs would only cost $30 for the month and incandescent $2,582. Washington was not far behind, with $30 for LED and $2,615 for incandescent.

The takeaway for aspiring Clark Griswolds (who aren't willing to move to Louisiana or Washington state)? If you want to save the planet — and your wallet — opt for LED lights.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.