The holiday season is upon us, as all department stores have made that clear. Where many prefer to keep with the tradition of decorating their home with Christmas décor and lights after Thanksgiving, others enjoy the season all so much they opt to start a couple of weeks prior to the Thanksgiving weekend. No matter what your preferences are, we at Peterkin Electric would like to take the opportunity to help you safely connect your strings of lights. For starters, many people want to know how many strings of lights they can safely connect, and it depends if they are LED lights or incandescent lights.
LED Christmas Holiday String Lights
Though LED lights cost a little more, connecting 265 feet of strands together only uses 38 watts and could be plugged into a single outlet, which only then costs about $1 for the season. These are ideal at only a tenth of the wattage of incandescent lights and lasting 10 times longer.
Incandescent Holiday String Lights
For those that choose to use the cheaper incandescent strings. The comparable length of incandescent string lights consumes 1,925 watts, with each individual string requiring its own outlet. Additionally, and estimated 50c for festivities seasons.
How to Hang Christmas Lights Safely
Determine how many strands of Christmas lights you can safely string together no matter your light bulbs style with the help of these holiday string light safety lights and to avoid blowing circuit breakers or in-line fuses.
Learn the Maximum Electrical Load: First decide which circuit or circuits the holiday lights will be plugged into. Noting whether it is a 15 or 20-amp circuit, after finding the breaker on your home’s electrical box. You should never exceed more than 80% of circuit capacity, no matter which style of lights you opt for. You can avoid overheating and tripping breakers as well as potential fire hazards.
Consider What Else is Running on that Electrical Circuit: Counted as part of the 80% max circuit load, any other items running on that same circuit, from lighting to appliances. A separate, dedicated circuit for holiday lights is best as it makes the math simpler and reduces extension cords by letting you install as many outlets as you need.
Know the Wattage of Each String of Lights: Limiting the need for brain-melting holiday math endeavors, the UL has the math done. Check the label on the box or string on the lights which will also often indicate the number of lights that can be safely strung together.
Apply the Labelled Warnings: A maximum of 210-watts should not be exceeding according to the UL tags, although the LED lights don’t this issue being that they use less energy.
Use a Calculator: Divide 210 by the number of watts of each string and this should give you the number of strings you can connect together safely per outlet; for 20-watt strand, that’s 10.5 string lights connected in series. Make certain not to exceed maximum wattage (1,440/1,920),