It’s that time of year again! With the tough year we’ve all experienced, a lot of us are getting the Christmas decorations up early to spread some much-needed cheer. As usual, dealing with electrical lights should be done safely, but with outdoor Christmas lights, you may be wondering what the best and safest way to install them is. In this blog we breakdown the factors you must consider when installing them and how to do it safely.
Create a Plan
Before purchasing any new lights, plan out what kind of look and design you are going for. Consider the length, colour scheme and how you will power them. By doing this you will save yourself a return trip when you discover you overestimated the length of your front window by a few metres. When measuring the length/width you will need, allow there to be some give so the lights aren’t pulled too tightly. This can cause pressure on the wires and weaken them. Also, consider how long a cable you will need to reach the socket.
Double-Check Outdoor Fuses
If you are using an outdoor fuse box to power your lights, make sure that the box is still fully waterproof and there are no damages from weathering effects. Before you hang the lights, plug them into the fuse box to make sure the power is still working fine or to find any possible faults in the lights themselves.
When attaching lights to your guttering or porch roof, use plastic clip holders rather than metal nails or staplers. This will reduce the risk of any conduction of electricity through the metal and will cause less damage to your house. Also, if you use them sensibly, they’ll be fine to use next year too!
Waterproof Extension Lead
If your outdoor fuse is towards the back of your house and no length of cable can reach, then using a waterproof extension lead could be the answer. This could also be useful if you want to power your lights by plugging them into your indoor socket by leading the cables through your windows. If you do want to have them through your window, make sure the cable is thin enough so you can still shut your windows to stop the chill coming in. Just make sure that the leads are neatly tucked away and there is no risk of tripping over them outside or inside the house.
Use LED Lights
LED lights are a much safer and cost-efficient alternative to filament bulbs. They use less energy due to their general low wattage meaning they use 80%-90% less energy than filament bulbs do. Because less energy is being used, they are cooler to the touch, reducing the risk of over-heating and starting a fire.
Pack Lights Away Safely
When the festive season is over and it’s time to take down the decorations, take as much care with your lights as you do with your delicate Christmas tree baubles. When packing them away, don’t tangle them all up in a box together. Instead, neatly coil them up in a box, in a dry moisture-free area. By doing this, you will prolong the life of your outdoor Christmas lights and minimise damage.
Remember, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions that come with the lights and keep them for reference. When purchasing your outdoor Christmas lights, look for the level of protection they provide against the weather, make sure they are watertight and not just rain-proof, splash-proof or jet-proof. As an extra safety precaution, turn off the lights from the outdoor mains or socket when you go to bed or leave the house. We hope you have a bright and merry Christmas!