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Guide to Holiday Lighting: 3 Reasons to Update Your Holiday Decorations and Christmas Lights + Your FAQ Answered

Christmas Tree3 Reasons to Update Your Holiday Lighting

Looking for ways to ramp up your holiday decorating game? Consider investing in new holiday lighting that can save you time and money while adding some festive cheer to the neighborhood. Here are our favorite reasons to upgrade your Christmas lights this season.

1. Energy Efficient Christmas Lights

If you plan on using a significant number of Christmas lights, invest in LED Christmas lights, which use up to 85 percent less power than traditional lights. LED lights are also much safer than traditional lights, since using less electricity lowers the chances of an electrical fire or electrical shock, while the bulbs themselves won’t become as hot, lowering the chances of little fingers and hands or curious pets being burned.

2. Christmas Lights with Music

Christmas lights coordinated with music is becoming more and more popular at attractions and light shows, but did you know you can create your very own Christmas light show at home? In order to create your own custom Christmas light show, you’ll need a control system that allows you to connect various strands of lights to specific channels. You can choose from fully-functional systems that allow you to set up and create light shows with ease, or more affordable yet advanced kits that require some prep work to create timing controls and circuit boards. If you’re more hands-on and comfortable working with electricity, you can opt for DIY systems that include a controller and solid state relays that work with your phone or computer.

If your control system doesn’t include software, you’ll also need to purchase one. This will allow you to coordinate various strands with various tunes and will make the process of turning lights on and off at various times much easier. Once you’ve designed your custom light show and programmed your system, set up your speakers and music station so the fun can begin!. Send out invites to friends and family, and let neighbors know you plan on having music and flashing lights displayed at certain times. A good rule of thumb is to schedule your light show and music to last no longer than ten minutes at a time in case your neighbors aren’t as excited about your Christmas concert as you are.

3. Christmas Lights with Timers

If you’re looking to update your holiday lighting equipment, consider investing in Christmas lights with timers that allow you to control when your lights will be off and on. This allows you to set your light display to turn on before you arrive home, so you can enjoy the Christmas spirit after arriving at the house after a long work day, or to turn off at certain times of the night so you don’t have to manually turn off or unplug lights at night, especially in freezing temperatures.

 

Christmas Lights FAQ

From holiday lighting safety to the best kind of Christmas lights to buy, we get a lot of questions about the safest and best way to prepare your home for the holidays. Here are some of your most frequently asked questions answered.

Are Christmas lights waterproof?

Yes and no. While Christmas lights are not specifically designed to deter water, or melted snow, they can be safely used outdoors during rain or snow as long as your extension cords and electrical outlets are protected from water. It’s also essential to use extension cords and accessories specifically intended for outdoor use in order to prevent electrical shock or fires.

Do I have to use outdoor extension cords with Christmas lights?

Breakers were invented for a reason, but unless you want to be known as the Clark Griswold of the neighborhood, we highly recommend using outdoor extension cords to protect your home and holiday decor from fires, weather, snow, and potential electrical problems. You can also use outdoor extension cords indoors, and it’s not a bad idea to utilize them during the holidays for Christmas trees, garlands, and other decor since they are specifically designed to prevent electrical shock. In order to prevent electrical shock, holiday decorations should also be hidden or protected from curious pets and children.

Are Christmas lights a fire hazard?

Millions of people use Christmas lights to decorate their homes each year without a problem, but if you do not take proper precautions and use common sense, electrical fires and electrical shock are a  very real danger. It’s essential not to overload extension cords and electrical sockets with lights. Invest in enough extension cords and surge protectors to prevent overloading circuits, and don’t use more than half of the available outlets or plug-ins inside and outside of your home.

Do Christmas lights get hot enough to start a fire?

While your chances of catching anything on fire from the heat of Christmas lights alone are pretty unlikely, there are steps you can take to avoid potential fire hazards. The first and most obvious is not to leave candles burning unattended and to turn off Christmas lights if you’re away from home or when going to bed. The chances of starting a fire are slim to none, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Will Christmas lights set curtains on fire?

While Christmas lights can get relatively hot (as hot as 225 degrees Fahrenheit), they don’t usually reach temperatures hot enough to set the fabric on curtains or furniture on fire. The real danger from Christmas lights comes from improper use and overloading of extension cords, surge protectors, and electrical outlets that can cause electrical fires and electrical shock. If you’re concerned about the number of Christmas lights you would like to display, consider switching to energy-efficient LED lights which use less energy.

Can Christmas lights be recycled?

Yes, they can! If you’re upgrading your Christmas lights, or if you have lights that are too worn to be repaired, you can recycle them through various local and mail-in programs that will repurpose these lights in order to prevent them from ending up in landfills.  

FIND A CHRISTMAS LIGHT RECYCLING PROGRAM NEAR ME

Which Christmas lights are the brightest?

While traditional Christmas lights are more affordable, and available in a variety of color selections, LED Christmas lights are brighter, more energy efficient, save more money in the long run on utility costs, last longer, and are better for the environment. In addition to using up to 85% less energy than traditional Christmas lights, LED lights also produce less greenhouse gases, which means less pollution for your neighborhood and home.

 

Posted by Jesse Wisley at 2:24 PM

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