Festive holiday lighting displays are beginning to brighten homes and neighborhoods around the state so Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) wants to help customers have a safe and energy-efficient holiday season.

• Do you have a cool holiday light display? Send us photos: editor@wiltonbulletin.com.

"Over the years, holiday lights have become much more efficient than the old-style bulbs we remember from years past," said Ron Araujo, CL&P's manager of Conservation and Load Management. "With newer technology available in many more options, today's lighting displays can help lower the amount of electricity a family uses and save money."

Light emitting diode (LED) lights, available most anywhere lights are sold, can cost as little as 25 cents to power compared to the $6 to $10 it can cost to power traditional lights. Just how much a holiday display will increase an average electric bill varies by the number of lights used and how long they are on.

CL&P reminds customers a good way to keep bills down without sacrificing the spirit of the season is to use timers to control when the lights go on and off. Making sure decorations are off before leaving home or going to bed is safe and efficient.

When decorating, it's important to follow some basic safety tips:

• Inspect used lights before plugging them in and discard any lights that are cracked, broken or have frayed or bare wires.

• Use only lights and electric decorations that carry the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) safety label.

• When decorating outdoors, only use outdoor-approved lighting and look out for overhead power lines before using a ladder. Always stay at least 10 feet away from power lines and anything they touch.

For more tips, check out CL&P's safe holiday lighting video on YouTube at http://youtu.be/5rCZp22Altc.