Homeowner’s Guide to Holiday Lighting

Posted on November 12, 2015 by Oozle Media

The holidays are here and it’s time to start decorating. Most people think that decorating for the holidays is simple enough. However, according to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 Christmas tree-related fires between 2013 and 2017.

Taking extra precautions to ensure your holiday lights are properly set up is extremely important. Brighten this season the right way with these holiday lighting tips.

Use Surge Protectors

Protect your outlets from electrical overloads by plugging your holiday lights into a surge protector instead of directly into an outlet. Large quantities of holiday lights place extra burden on your home’s electrical system, causing voltage spikes and leading to fire hazards. Use a surge protector to lessen the burden on your home’s electrical system.


Don’t Overload Circuits or Extension Cords

This is a very common problem and a major cause of holiday fires. Don’t overload extension cords by plugging too many lights into the same receptacle. This can cause lights to burn out and circuits to fail, increasing the risk of fires. Instead of plugging all of your lights into a single extension cord, plug lights into multiple outlets.


Take Care of Your Cords

Be careful where you run extension cords. Rugs and other obstructions on top of or nearby cords and outlets are a fire hazard. Flammable objects should be far away from any cords, outlets, and wires. Making sure your cords are carefully placed will brighten the holiday season for everyone involved.

Connect Matching Light Sets:

If you will be connecting multiple strands of lights, make sure to only connect strands with the same number of lights on each. For example, never connect a 50 light set to a 100 light set. Matching light sets will keep lights lit longer and will avoid premature burnout.

Pro-Tip: Purchase matching light sets to avoid accidentally connecting the wrong strands.


Select the Right Voltage and Bulbs:

If you have to replace bulbs, remember that not all bulbs are the same. Bulb types and voltages vary. Preserve your light system by getting the right type of bulbs for your light sets. For example, a set of 50 lights usually uses 2.5 volt bulbs, and those bulbs will not always be compatible with those on a set of 35 lights.

Distinguish Between Indoor and Outdoor Lights:

There is a difference between indoor and outdoor lights. Using lights that are not approved for outdoor use can cause premature burnout, electrical shorts, and fires. Make sure to check the label on the light set for ‘Indoor/Outdoor’ or ‘Indoor Use Only’ before stringing the lights.


Consider LED Bulbs:

Lighting your home consumes a lot of power, but your holiday lightshow doesn’t have to be environmentally irresponsible. Instead of using incandescent bulbs, consider LEDs. LED bulbs can help reduce your energy consumption by about 20%. These lights will also last longer and emit better light.


Brighten your holiday season safely by taking extra precautions with your holiday lighting displays. Although we don’t personally install holiday lights, we can help answer all of your electrical questions! Give JP Electrical a call for your household lighting, wiring, and electrical needs.

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