A BC Hydro survey says that for the first time more British Columbians are expected to have “mega displays” for Halloween than Christmastime.
About half of British Columbians decorated their homes for Halloween this year, with about 13 per cent of those considering their outdoor décor to be a “mega display” of 10 or more strings of lights and at least one plug-in inflatable. While about half of residents said they were planning to decorate for the winter holidays, only 10 per cent were planning on a “mega display.”
BC Hydro spokesperson Susie Rieder said elaborate Christmas displays account for about three per cent of the provincial electricity load during the winter holiday season, and Halloween displays are beginning to keep pace with what was once unique in the December to January period.
“While winter holiday season decorating is still more popular, those who go all out with mega displays are favouring Halloween for the first time ever.”
The survey also noted that there is an element of “keeping up with the Joneses,” with about 30 per cent saying they are more likely to put up an elaborate display if their neighbours do and seven per cent “overtly or coverly” compete with their neighbours for the best display.
However, 46 per cent concede their neighbour has the best lighting display in the neighbour and 11 per cent claim theirs is the best.
BC Hydro added that some decorating habits might contribute to higher costs, such as 26 per cent of people use old incandescent light strings or a mix of old incandescent and LED lighting, which uses significantly more power and is more expensive to run. Plug-in inflatable decorations – which 14 per cent of people said they used – are typically run 24/7 and use a lot more power than a strand of LED bulbs.