Holiday lights add cheer to the season, but if not properly installed and cared for, they can become a hazard. Make your holiday a safe one by inspecting and testing your lights before hanging them. Use caution with placement and use, and never leave the lights unattended if you are not home.
Use extension cords correctly. Do not use inside cords for outside decoration, and do not overload them by putting more than three strings of lights into one cord. Try to use the length of cord that you will need. Current going through the cords can heat them up, so you do not want a cord coiled on the floor in layers. This could be a fire hazard.
Turn the holiday lights off periodically when they are on a Christmas tree, especially a cut tree inside your home. The lights can heat up, especially if there is an undetected crack in the cord, causing a fire. After four hours, give the bulbs a little time to cool off before putting them back on. If you have a live Christmas tree keep it watered, a dry tree is most liable to catch fire from even a spark caused by pulling the cord out of a socket.
Should I use LED lights?
They look just like the standard incandescent holiday that you've grown used to, only better. For one thing, they last longer with a 50,000 hour bulb life, they are safer - due to burning at a lower temperature, and are practically unbreakable. But most importantly, the LED lights are more efficient - they use 90% less energy than the lights your neighbor Phil leaves up year-round.
According to the website getwithgreen.com, an average Christmas tree decorated with incandescent string lights will use 75 KW per 30-day period. The same tree using LED lights will burn only 7.5 KW, a savings of 68.5 KW per Christmas tree. Consider if you will, the sheer number of Christmas Trees in your neighborhood, your town, or your city. Throw in the amount of outdoor lighting that we see this time of year as well, and that's a significant amount of energy being used - energy that could be saved merely by everyone switching to the more eco-friendly LED lighting.
Save Money and be Safer By Properly Storing Holiday Lights
Storing the lights so they do not crimp and tangle is for safety reasons, but also makes it easier for you to use them the following year. Coil them up and keep them in place using bread twist ties and then store them in a plastic bag, freezer bag size. You can also wind them around an empty cardboard wrapping paper roll and then cut a slit in the cardboard to anchor the end. By correctly storing your lights, you will get many years of use from them.
Wash your hands immediately after handling your holiday lights. Many of the cords contain lead, and it can rub off on your hands. There will be a manufacturer's warning on your lights if they contain this substance.
Happy Holidays and if all of the above sounds like too much work contact Grants Gardens - We now offer a holiday lighting decorating service! Just Call us and we will bring and install a beautiful lighting display that is sure to get your neighbors attention.