Holiday lights can give your home that friendly, inviting ambiance that's so important this time of year. Whether you choose bright white lights or colorful bulbs, it's fun to decorate with lights and give your home some sparkle. Just make sure you follow these tips for the safest, most energy-efficient holiday lighting experience.
Check each strand of lights before hanging.
Make sure there are not any frayed wires. If you see any empty bulb sockets, either place a spare bulb in them or do not use that strand. You would not want a child to put their finger in an empty socket and electrocute themselves!
Connect your lights to a timer.
There are simple timers that you plug into your outlet. You then plug the lights into the timer. Program the timer to turn your lights off when you go to bed each night. Not only is it safer to have the lights off when you're asleep, but this will help conserve energy.
Use 3-wire, grounded cords for outdoor lights.
Make sure every extension cord you use is approved for outdoor use and has that third grounding prong. This will help protect you from shocks and your home from electrical surges.
Only use outdoor-approved lights outdoors.
There are holiday lights made for indoor use and others made for outdoor use. While you can certainly use outdoor lights inside, you never want to use indoor lights outside. They're not made to withstand the elements, so they're likely to short out. Not only will you not have lights, but this can cause dangerous sparks and shocks.
Make sure nobody will trip over your wires.
Whether you're running cords outside or inside, make sure you run them along the side of the building or along the side of the room. This way, a passersby will be less likely to trip over them. You can use a strip or two of tape to fasten the cord to the wall if needed.
Keep outdoor lights off the ground.
This will help protect them from water damage. Use hooks and fasteners to hold the outdoor lights in place so they don't fall off and onto the ground.
With these tips, your holiday lighting experience should be safe and enjoyable. For more tips you can use to save energy every day, check out our post "6 Easy Tips For Saving Energy This Fall."