Save Money and Stay Safe with Holiday Lights
Everyone loves the sight of holiday lights and decorations. Here are some tips to consider before hanging your holiday lights.
- Bulbs – Do you still have the old traditional set of colored lights? If so, be aware some of the older light sets use up to 10 watts per bulb. Modern lights use approximately 70 percent less electricity and the bulbs last longer. The most efficient holiday bulbs on the market are LED. The lights are also safe to touch, shock proof and shatterproof. Best of all, LED bulbs present no fire hazard, last longer and can cut your energy costs by 85 percent.
- Circuits – Do not overload the circuits in your home. Older homes generally carry a maximum of 1,800 watts, while newer homes can generally handle 2,400 watts. Follow the instructions on the number of light strands you can safely connect together. Also, connect strands to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.
- Cords – All outdoor cords, plugs and sockets should be weatherproof. Keep your electrical connections off the ground and make sure your wiring is clear of drainpipes and railings.
- Damage – Check your light sets for frayed wiring, damaged sockets or cracked insulation before you decorate. Worn cords can cause fires. Replace the entire set if you find any of these problems.
- Indoor / Outdoor – Make sure you buy the kind of light sets you need – indoor sets for your tree and other areas inside your house, and outdoor sets for exterior displays.
- Documentation – Check to see all light sets you purchase have the Underwriters Laboratories label, which ensures they meet safety requirements. Keep your holidays happy and safe by following these simple safety tips and procedures.