Ever wonder how much energy a standard lightbulb uses? If you’re in a capital city this week, you may find out, while kissing that loved one (or someone else you’re keen to kiss).

There are lots of things IKEA does well: inexpensive furniture, life skills involving DIY building activities, one buck soft serve ice cream cones. Equipping everyone one of us with far too many Allen keys definitely rates highly on the list.

Informing people about the other things IKEA is not known for isn’t one of them, and while you may connect the Swedish furniture company with inexpensive tables and bookshelves, you may not think of the brand as one that dabbles in light bulbs.

Yet that’s exactly one of the major things the company produces, and in the weeks leading up to the holidays, has taken the time to ask Australians if they think they’ll be spending too much over the season and how they plan to find ways to save money.

You might use vouchers and coupons to buy presents like 37.2% of those surveyed or even go halvsies with your mate when buying them a present like 17.8% of folks surveyed, but a long term picture is to cut costs altogether, and IKEA has come up with one way of doing that: lighting.

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Your home is filled with light bulbs, and unless you’ve gone through and replaced each one to an energy efficient option, there’s a good chance you’re paying a little more for your electricity than you might otherwise should be.

In fact, according to IKEA, Australians can save up to $140 over the course of a year by switching to LED lighting, which over the course of a 22 year lightbulbs would net a good $3288.

To explain the point of why a shift to LED bulbs makes sense, IKEA has take the Christmas spirit and added a modern twist, connecting mistletoe to a lighting installation that switches on and off based on how you hug, dance, and kiss, with the kinetic motion switching the lights on while demonstrating the bulbs in action.

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As neat as the concept is, IKEA will only be running it in select locations, with Sydney and Brisbane visited last week (December 8 and 9, respectively), while this week will see Melbourne and Canberra on December 15 and 16 (respectively), with the whole concept built to raise awareness of why LED bulbs can be better for the home.

The household is just one part of the equation, though, because with better and more green energy output, the planet is also saved just a little more thanks to less energy usage altogether.

Even if you don’t come away with the idea of switching your own bulbs out for LED — because sometimes we like our old things, plus lightbulbs can be a pain to change — you may see a lamp as the necessary gift idea to brighten up someone else’s life, especially if they have everything else.

If you are in Melbourne or Canberra this week, expect to find IKEA’s modern mistletoe at Southbank’s Spillway Promenade between 4pm and 10pm on December 15, while Canberra’s City Walk will see the installation on December 16 from 4pm to 10pm.

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A technology journalist working out of Sydney, Australia, Leigh has written for publications including The Australian Financial Review, GadgetGuy, Popular Science, APC, PC & Tech Authority, as well as for radio and TV since 2007.

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