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FYI, Your Christmas Lights Could Slow Down Your Wi-Fi Speed

The world wide web doesn't run on Christmas spirit.
12/04/2015 12:41pm ET

There's a house on every street that says "Happy Holidays" a little louder than the rest.

But there's a new argument against having a mess of technicolor kitsch, perhaps convincing those with even the most ornate houses to embrace a minimalist approach.

Christmas lights and other household electronics, it turns out, can interfere with and have a negative effect on wi-fi speed, according to United Kingdom independent regulator Ofcom.

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The company published its Connected Nations 2015 report -- an in-depth look at the telecoms and wireless networks of the UK -- which found Wi-Fi in up to six million homes and offices is not running as fast as it could.

The problem, the company said in a statement, could be "something as simple as interference from other electronic devices, such as a microwave oven, baby monitor, a lamp -- or even Christmas fairy lights."

As NBC News reports, electronic gadgets generate electro-magnetic fields that can create interference with wireless communications.

Daniel Carpini, vice president of marketing at xG Technology, which develops interference-resistant wireless communications for clients like the U.S. military, told NBC that while Christmas lights emit a very small amount of energy, "it's possible that your Christmas lights will have some effect on your router and broadband performance."

Others, however, disagree.

"We have not seen any significant Wi-Fi interference from LED Christmas lights," a Cisco spokesperson told NBC. "But consumers may experience interference from Wi-Fi enabled controllers and switches that are used to turn on and off their Christmas lights."

So if a mysteriously slow Internet connection doesn't make you tone down the holiday lights, perhaps your high electricity bills will.

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