Holiday Lighting Tips
Decor Ideas, Safety Tips & More!
Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, that means it is now time for that holiday tradition both savored and dreaded – the annual hanging of holiday lights. Is lighting an art form? Absolutely! Does that mean that every single one of us should go Griswold Christmas Crazy? Absolutely not – but definitely find that happy middle ground where you love what your house looks like AND you are safe, sane, and affordable.
Before we get to the fun stuff – an internet tour of lights, perhaps? – we should briefly touch on some basic holiday safety for your to keep in mind this season. No one wants to have a holiday that goes wrong when it comes to lights and electricity.
Remember – it can take as little as 12 seconds for a dry Christmas tree to go from happy holidays to holiday blaze. Holiday light and decoration safety should be the most important thing for your family’s sake, and efficiency should be vital for your wallet’s sake. With that in mind, consider these safety tips:
- Always use UL (Underwriters Laboratory) approved and listed lights appropriate for your conditions – especially when decorating outdoors.
- Make sure you are using outdoor rated lights (indoor bulbs and cords won’t be as resistant to weather as outdoor rated ones).
- Keep your cords and lights unplugged while inspecting and installing them.
- Check all your cords and lights for fraying, cracking, and loose plugs, bulbs or sockets, and wires.
- Extension cords should never be run under rugs, carpets, or furniture. Also, pinching them in window and door frames can lead to damaging the cord and causing resistance heating, which is a huge fire risk with electricity.
- Do not ‘daisy chain‘ surge protectors or extension cords.
- Don’t overload outlets or electrical circuits.
- When powering outdoor holiday lights, you should plug into a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) so that if any electrical problems arise, electrical shock and fire risk can be minimized.
- Don’t hang outdoor lights with screws, nails, or tacks – these risk penetrating the rubber coating or wires. Instead, use insulated hooks or plastic clips.
- Always turn off electric-powered decorations when you’re asleep or not at home.
- Be careful outside with ladders, especially aluminum ones. When mixing metal, snow, and electricity it creates a recipe for disaster.
- Don’t leave space heaters unattended, or turned on while sleeping.
- Always unplug electrical items by the plug and not the cord – otherwise you risk damaging the cord, fire, or electrical risk.
- Read the directions with your lighting and never string more than the recommended quantity of lights together. (If you have traditional incandescent light strings and no instructions, limit yourself to 3 strings on one extension cord.)
- Consider upgrading to LED lights – they use a lot less electricity, are sturdier due to their epoxy bulbs, run a lot cooler in temperature, and you can run a circuit with a lot more strings because of their low energy consumption.
Enough with the boring stuff – let’s get to the goods! How-to – and how not-to – decorate your home this holiday season! If you’re looking for inspiration then you have definitely come to the right place.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Swartz Electric – Your Colorado Springs Electrician performs electrical work throughout Colorado Springs, Monument, Black Forest, Fountain, Falcon, Woodland Park, and everywhere in between. We are the electricians in Colorado Springs to solve your electrical problems and meet your electrical requirements.
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This is an original article written by Mai Bjorklund for Swartz Electric. This article may not be copied whole or in part without the express permission of Swartz Electric, LLC.
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