Tips that will help you avoid problems with your Christmas lights, and reduce the risk of fire caused by Christmas lights.
Wiring Home > Electrical > Christmas lights
We all love to see the beautiful Christmas light displays during the Christmas holiday season, but there are some things to know before you set up your Christmas light display that will help you avoid problems or even dangerous conditions.
Before you start it is a good idea to do some planning, determine how you want your display to look and how you are going to fasten them in a secure manor. Having them too loose will result in too much movement when those cold winter winds come, and cause the lamps to break or go bad. Youíll be much happier inside your warm home than out in the cold fixing your Christmas lights. Also never place your lights on anything that is easily flammable such as curtains of dry trees. The heat generated by the lights or even a possible faulty string of lights has the possibility of causing a hazardous condition.
Another thing that most people consider but is very important is how many lights to plug into a single electrical outlet. This is going to be a bit technical but I will do my best to make it as simple as possible. Each package of Christmas lights lists how much electrical current the lights require and is listed as either watts or amps. 100 watts if roughly equal to 1 amp, most home receptacle circuits can handle 15 amps of which you should only use 80% of or 12 amps. Most circuits have more than one receptacle on each circuit, so you need to take into consideration anything else you have plugged in to the circuit. How much current your lights require varies depending on how many lights are in the string and what type they are which is why it is important to check the package.
Each package of Christmas lights also tells you how many strings of lights that you can string together. Never exceed the manufactures recommendation of how many strings of lights to connect together, doing so could result in the string burning up. Even though todayís new lights have mini fuses to protect against it, you should never trust that it will work, at the very least you will find yourself outside trying to replace the fuse.
How long do you leave your Christmas lights on? If your answer was all the time or all night long, you may want to reconsider. Every Holiday season there is a fire caused by Christmas lights due to a faulty string of lights or improper installation. Leaving them on all night while you are sleeping is never a good idea. Itís also a not a good idea to leave them on if you are going to be away from home for a long period of time, and leaving them on during daylight hours is just a waste of power and money. A good rule of thumb is to turn them on when it gets dusk and turn them off when you go to sleep, this is where a timer or having a switch that controls a dedicated outlet for the lights really comes in handy.
Keeping these tips in mind while setting up your Christmas display will help you avoid problems with your Christmas lights and greatly reduce your risk of fire.
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