For many people, the holidays are all about the decorations. Christmas time is a special time of year and it makes perfect sense to want to celebrate it in a big, festive way through colorful light displays for all the neighbors to admire. However, the matter of proper lighting in terms of both safety and function requires a little forethought for a successful outcome. Here are our top 5 Christmas lighting tips to make your holiday season shine bright!
1. Be Aware of Cords
When hanging lights, you will most likely be using an extension cord throughout the house exterior or yard. While this is inevitable for most homes, extra measures need to be taken to ensure safety. For instance, cords can easily become trip and fall hazards when running along the ground. You want to make sure any cords you use are either elevated on a higher surface or taped down into the ground to avoid any accidents.
2. Use Waterproof/Outdoor Rated Lights
Another major concern with holiday lights is the matter of moisture. With most locations getting a wet, snowy winter, lighting solutions need to be strong enough to handle these conditions. If a light solution not intended for wet or damp locations becomes inundated with moisture, it can lead to damages and loss of function. Make sure you check your lights for their water resistance if you live in a climate with a lot of winter moisture. You also want to make sure your lights are made for outdoor use overall for a better option.
3. Check Outlets for Safety
Lights on the exterior of your house should only be plugged into a GFCI outlet. The purpose of a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is to protect against electrical shocks by shutting down the system if an overflow of electrical current bypasses the intended conduit. Electrical shock can be a deadly holiday mistake which is why it is crucial to use this type of safety precaution for your lighting. You can either have an electrician install a permanent one on your premises or purchase a portable unit for your existing circuit.
4. Check the Surrounding of Trees
When hanging lights on trees in the yard, you need to check the surroundings for power lines. Many people have suffered accidents because a power line was touching the tree they were stringing lights on and they failed to notice until an injury had occurred.
5. Don’t Run Lights All Night
While it can be tempting to be the light of the neighborhood with your display, you shouldn’t run your lights all night. Lights should always be turned off when you aren’t home or go to bed to avoid any hazards. You also want to avoid running lights for hours and hours on end because it may cause an overheating effect which can melt surrounding snow or ice and allow for water to short circuit your display.