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Christmas Lights Done Right

It’s that time of year when no matter what neighborhood you drive through, you’ll see plenty of Christmas lights to celebrate the season. If you haven’t hung yours yet and are planning to, keep these tips in mind to stay safe and save energy:

LED bulbs

Though a bit more expensive than traditional Christmas lights, LED bulbs can save you up to 90% on your holiday electric bill.

Indoor/outdoor

If you’re buying Christmas lights for outside, make sure they are labeled “outdoor” or “indoor/outdoor”. If you use indoor lights outside and it rains or snows, you could short out the electricity in your house or even start an electrical fire. Make sure any extension cords you’re using are also approved for the outdoors.

When people are looking

Turn your Christmas lights on only when you know people will see them; running them during the day or in the middle of the night wastes energy and shortens the lifespan of the bulbs. The easiest way to do this is to put them on a timer so you don’t have to worry about remembering to turn them on or off.

Check for damages

Before you hang your lights, check each strand for frays or tears in the wires. Also check the bulbs for any cracks. Damaged lights can cause a fire when turned on and can even ignite nearby materials like curtains or wrapping paper.

Update large bulbs

If you use the larger strings of bulbs for your home and haven’t replaced them within the last 10 years, buy new ones (or consider switching to LED bulbs). Some older strands use nearly twice as much energy as the newer strands.

The right outlets

Plug your Christmas lights into ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets. These will make sure that the circuit will shut down if it experiences too much current and will help prevent fires.

Get rid of the hammer

If you’re hanging Christmas lights on the outside of your home or roof, ditch the hammer and nails and opt for electrical tape or insulated clips. They’re easy to use and won’t damage your home.

Measurements

Before you start stringing lights, measure the area you want to illuminate, then buy one extra strand of bulbs. Having a few too many bulbs will look better than a design that was stopped short.

Having trouble with your electrical outlets? We can help! Just contact our electrical service experts and we’ll solve your problem as soon as possible.

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