How to Hang Christmas Lights Like an Electrician
Hanging Christmas Lights Safely – Tips from Electricians
You’ve been waiting for months, maybe even years. It’s finally time to break out the Christmas lights! But before you start stringing those twinkly strands around your house, there are a few safety tips you should know about. We consulted with Dean’s Home Services team of Electricians to make sure you don’t accidentally start a fire or fall off your roof while installing those festive lights.
Test Lights Before Hanging Them Up
You’ve been waiting for months, maybe even years. It’s finally time to break out the Christmas lights! But before you start stringing those twinkly strands around your house, there are a few safety tips you should know about. We consulted with an electrical contractor to make sure you don’t accidentally start a fire or fall off your roof while installing th
It’s a good idea to test your strands before installing them. This will help you eliminate any problems with broken bulbs or bad connections, which could cause hazards down the line.
How to Test Your Christmas Lights
Ensure all of the bulbs are plugged in properly, and that they’re not loose on the socket. If there’s no light coming from a bulb, it may mean that it’s been damaged during shipping or handling, or has become bent and needs to be straightened out before it can work again.
Test each strand for shorts by using an ohm meter (available at home improvement stores). If your ohms check out okay but there’s still no power coming from one side of a strand of lights, then this would indicate a short somewhere within that particular set of lights—and also give us some insight into where we might need to look when troubleshooting this problem further down the road!
Top Christmas Light Safety Tips From Dean’s Electricians
- Use common sense.
- Avoid placing extension cords over sidewalks or high-traffic areas
- Test lights before hanging
- Keep an eye on pets because they love to investigate and sometimes even chew on wires.
- Use approved hangers not tacks, nails or staples which can damage the insulation around the wires, creating a fire hazard.
When Hanging Christmas Lights, Avoid Blowing a Fuse
When you string too many lights together and plug them into the wall, you’re more likely to blow a fuse, and your lights won’t stay lit. A good way to avoid this is by using LED light bulbs which means more lights and a much smaller chance of tripping a breaker. LED lights are cheaper to run but more expensive upfront cost.
GFCI Outlets Are Your Friend
GFCI senses the slightest difference in the amount of electricity between what enters a circuit and what leaves the circuit. A small variation, as little as 5 milliamps, will cause the circuit to trip or shut down within 1/10 of a second. This prevents people from getting electrocuted.
Unfortunately, when it comes to Christmas lights and decorations and GFCIs, generally all it takes to trip a circuit is for a little moisture to get into the outlet, cord, or lights. If this happens and the power is on, the circuit will trip, causing the lights and décor to go out. Make sure you’re keeping the area as dry as possible and when possible, avoid using splitters or having to connect multiple outdoor
Going All Out? You May Need Extra Circuits
If you’re installing a lot of lights in your home, you may need to install new circuits to handle the usage. If you don’t pay attention to the number of amps your lights are drawing, you could create a fire hazard. If you plan on going big with your holiday display, you’ll need more power, and you will want to look into getting electric panel service upgrades.
Smart Home Lighting for Christmas
Using a smart outlet/timer is another good way to control your lights, even better, have a Dean’s electrician place electric outlets outside your home. This will allow you to control how much electricity is used and prevent you from having to connect multiple extension cords. Smart lights keep energy costs down as well. All the options listed below feature light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, use at least 75% less energy than incandescent lighting. This is welcome news for your electric bill if you plan to turn on multiple strands of lights for several hours a day.
Christmas Light Hanging Pole
A great safety hack for decorating is to use a Christmas light pole hanger. Fits firmly and easily to an extension pole, you’ll be able to hang lights on a hook at a tall peak then along more hooks sloping downwards.
Outdoor Christmas Lights Extension Cord Safety
Choose the correct gauge of extension cord for the length and wattage rating of your lights. For example, if you need to run 10 strands of 100-watt incandescent lights at 25’ each, select a cord with a 30A rating (or larger). Don’t forget to take into consideration any other high-load devices plugged into the same circuit as well!
Use Hooks to Hang Christmas Lights
Don’t use staples or nails to hang lights.
- If you’re using a hammer and nails, make sure that the nail is long enough to get through both sides of the gutter.
- If you’re using a staple gun, make sure that there are no staples sticking out of your gutter. This will be very dangerous if someone steps on it.
- Don’t use screws or nails when hanging Christmas lights from electricians because they can be very dangerous if someone steps on them! Sometimes people do this because they don’t know any better, but there are other options available such as power drills (which we’ll talk about later).
Hang up the lights neatly, and then go back to straighten sections that droop.
To hang the lights neatly, you need to be sure that they are evenly spaced along the cord. To do this, use a tape measure or yardstick to check each string of lights before hanging them on your house. This way, you can make sure each string hangs at the same distance from one another as well as from other power sources such as outlets or switches.
Once all of your strings are hung evenly and neatly around the house, it’s time to go back and straighten out any sections that droop due to gravity pulling them down over time.
Learn how to hang Christmas lights from the experts so you don’t start an electrical fire!
Don’t get us wrong: we know hanging Christmas lights is an important part of ensuring your holiday cheer is visible from space. But if you don’t do it right, it can be dangerous!
Electricians provide a valuable service in helping keep homes safe by installing and maintaining electrical systems.
Once you’ve read all of the above tips and learned how to hang Christmas lights from the experts, you should be well on your way to enjoying this holiday tradition for years to come! The key is staying safe, having fun, and taking care of your family—and we hope this article helped you do just that.