There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit when it comes to Christmas lights than by decking out your house in festive cheer. But before you go out and buy a bunch of new lights, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Here are a few tips for selecting outdoor Christmas lights
Did Last Year’s Outdoor Christmas Decorations Survive?
Check the light strings and the extension cords. Are the cords frayed, especially near the plugs? Were they properly stored in a loose roll last January, or were they damaged by being tightly coiled?
Test each string indoors to ensure that all the bulbs light. If not, they need to be replaced. Are all the components truly built for “outdoor” use?
Selecting Outdoor Christmas Lights Wisely
While many people might think that any old set of Christmas lights will do, the truth is that selecting outdoor Christmas lights wisely can make a big difference in terms of safety and enjoyment.
The best choices emphasize safety over cost-cutting since lost wages and medical expenses would far exceed any savings for a shoddy string of outdoor Christmas bulbs. The safety tips include:
- Check for authentic approval stickers from recognized safety labs: CE (Conformance European), CSA (Canada Standards Association), ETL (from Intertek Testing Services), or UL (Underwriters Laboratories). Learn these four symbols for approved electrical products.
- Check that each string of lights, and each extension cord, is certified for outdoor use.
- Use one power outlet and one extension cord for every three strings of lights.
- Not all outdoor Christmas lights are created equal. Some lights are safer than others, so selecting the right type for your needs is important. LED lights are generally safer than traditional incandescent bulbs, and they also use less energy, so they’re a good choice for eco
- Look for lights that are weather-resistant and have a long lifespan.
- Stay away from low-quality lights that could potentially cause a fire hazard.
- Get a good quality extension cord that’s rated for outdoor use.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing and using the lights safely.
Buy a portable ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) if the outdoor plug is not already equipped with one. The USA’s National Electrical Code has required them for the outdoor receptacles of new homes since about 1973, but it is better to check and be sure. A licensed electrician can install a permanent GFCI.
The shopping list may include hooks or insulated staples for stringing the lights. Nails or tacks may damage the electrical wires.
How to Find Discount Outdoor Christmas Lights
If you’re looking to save money on your Christmas lights, here are a few tips on how to find discount outdoor Christmas lights.
The best way to find cheap flights is to shop online. Many websites sell discounted Christmas lights. Another great place to find deals is at local home improvement stores. Many times, these stores will have a section where they are selling discounted holiday decor.
Another way to save money on your Christmas lights is to buy used ones. There are many websites where you can buy used Christmas decorations, including lights. Inspect the light strings before purchasing them to ensure there are no broken bulbs or wires.
Safely Installing Outdoor Christmas Lights
Consider installing some Christmas lights if you want to add a little holiday cheer to your outdoor space. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when selecting and installing your lights:
Make sure the light strings are of adequate length. Ensure the extension cords and strings of lights have been inspected and worked indoors. Safety continues in the cold, snowy outdoors. Plan the decorations so that people will not trip over extension cords.
If you have to climb, be sure the ladder has a firm footing, is well braced, and stands at the right slope. Keep “three points of contact” on a ladder when climbing.
Do not attach electrical wires to metal objects such as wire fences. No one would ever attach their outdoor Christmas lights to power lines or a metal flagpole.
Conclusion: Using Outdoor Christmas Lights Wisely
Christmas lights are a great way to get into the holiday spirit. They can make your house look festive and add a special touch to the season. However, it’s important to use outdoor Christmas lights wisely. Here are some tips:
- Make sure your Christmas lights are approved for outdoor use.
- Hang them securely, so they don’t fall and cause a fire or injury.
- Use LED lights whenever possible, as they use less energy and last longer.
- Plan your lighting scheme so you know how much wiring you need.
- Don’t overload outlets or extension cords with too many lights.
- There is little reason to keep the decorations lit during daylight hours. This uses electricity but does not make for much of a show.
- Turn off the lights at bedtime. While your neighbors might still be awake, they might not notice if snow or wind causes damage to the lights on your property.
Using outdoor Christmas lights wisely is important for safety and preserving your holiday spirit!