Over the years the amount of people that decorate their house for Christmas has increased. With this increase the amount of decorations in and on each house has also increased. For years the standard of over the top Christmas lights was the Griswold’s house but now there are shows like The Christmas Light Fight that have taken Christmas tree lights to a whole new level. If you would like to step up your Christmas tree light game we have some tips for you that can help you avoid electrical problems.
Types of Christmas Light Bulbs
The first thing you will need to decide when you are decorating your home for Christmas is what kind of lights you should purchase. Older Christmas lights were available only with incandescent lights. Now you have more options available for you to purchase. LED lights are 75% more efficient than incandescent lights. LED lights only use about 20% of the energy that is used with incandescent lights. By using LED lights you will have lower your utility bill and reduce the odds of short-circuiting your home.
Ways to Prevent Overloading & Short Circuit
All of your household electrical outlets are on circuits. Circuits all have an amp rating. Typically your outlets will be 15 or 20 amps. Peterkin Electric recommends that you do not load a circuit over 80% to avoid tripping your circuit breaker. So if you have a 20-amp circuit you can safely plug in 16 amps to that plug.
How Many Amps Do LED Christmas Lights Use?
You should be able to check the packaging or the tag on your lights to find the amperage rating. Some lights are measured in wattage. If you have a strand of lights that is rated in wattage divide the wattage number by 120 to find the amperage. So if you have a string of lights that is 250 watts you will divide it my 120 to get 2.08 amps. If your circuit is 20 amps you could safely plug 8 strands of lights into this outlet. You will want to make sure that you take into account whether or not you have anything else plugged into that outlet. If you overload any one single outlet you can overload the entire circuit and all of the other outlets on the circuit. Once you know how many strands of lights you can plug into each outlet and how many strands of lights you are planning on installing on your house you will need to come up with a plan for where to plug your strands of lights into. Peterkin Electric highly recommends using a surge protector to plug your lights into. Surge protectors are designed to protect your home from damage from an electrical surge.
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If you follow the important steps outlined above you should be able to avoid overloading a circuit in your home. Not only will you avoid overloading a circuit, you will also avoid an electrical fire. Nothing matters more to us here at Peterkin Electric than keeping your house safe during the holidays. If you have any questions please give us a call!