Tis the season of colder temperatures, indoor activities (socially distanced, of course!), and the mad rush to put up Christmas lights before the snow falls. It’s the holiday season! To celebrate this time of the year, we thought it would be nice to share with you some of our favorite holiday home products and tips to make your life easier and more energy efficient.
Lights are one of the best products to decorate your home with for the holidays. They give off a warm and cozy glow and add a little something magical. In order to understand how many Christmas lights you can safely connect end-to-end, you must first determine the number of watts you can put on a circuit. Don’t connect any more than three cords of lights to one outlet; and in the kitchen, separate your crockpots where possible. This can prevent overheating circuits and tripping breakers.
If you plan on decorating your house Griswold-style, and even if your plans are more modest, we recommend running separate ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets, which are special electrical outlets that are installed in areas where there is a risk of electricity meeting water like in outdoor outlets and in kitchens and bathrooms. GFCI outlets are designed to shut off the flow of power whenever a short is detected.
Be sure to use the outdoor extension cords when hanging Christmas lights outside, as indoor extension cords are not heavy duty enough. Also avoid having cords in high traffic areas, such as under the welcome mat.
Inspect Lights Before Hanging
It’s best to plug in the lights prior to hanging them up to ensure they operate correctly. Also, closely inspect each string for damaged or frayed wires which can cause fires. Throw away any strings that look worn, brittle, or cracked. It’s better to spend money on new lights rather than a new home after a fire.
In order to be safe and save on your electrical bill, always unplug the lights when you leave the house or before going to sleep at night. If you find that you are like most of us and tend to forget to shut off the extra lights, a timer can be a great addition to your inventory. Timers are a great way to alleviate the burden of turning your lights on and off, plus they save you money on electrical costs.
Installing holiday lights
When it comes time to installing the lights, get rid of the staple gun and opt for light tabs to line your house. Simply insert a light bulb into a tab and then attach to your gutter. This is a great way to save time during future holiday seasons as well.
If you prefer to decorate using outdoor signs or blow-up decorations, set up spotlights to draw attention to your decor. Spotlights come in a variety of colors, and you can even attach a kaleidoscope to turn the entire front of your house into a canvas.
Obviously, we love LED lights at McAllister Electrical Services. LED lights have become the most widely used outdoor lighting option over the past few years. LEDs consume up to 50 percent less energy, effectively cutting your electric bill in half. They can last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs and generate significantly less heat than traditional bulbs, posing a much lower fire risk. LEDs now come in a variety of color options and sizes so there are limitless decorating options.
If you have questions or concerns about holiday lighting, give us a call today to see how we can help you! Happy Holidays from your crew at McAllister Electrical Services!