Don't hate us for saying it, but Christmas is fast approaching! At the time of writing this, we still don't quite know what the holiday season is going to look like for us all, but if there's one thing we know for sure it's people are getting their lights and decorations out as early as they can to bring some cheer to the final months of 2020. In this post we're taking a look at Christmas lights and how to make sure your display is safe as well as festive.
Make sure you have the correct type of light.
Retailers offer both indoor and outdoor lights, and many look the same. So why do you need to bother checking which is which? All lights should go through rigorous testing processes before being sold, so make sure you're buying them from a reputable outlet to start with so there is somewhere to go if there is an issue with the item itself. They will be clearly marked for indoor or outdoor use - or both - and will therefore have been tested for the particular environment they're intended for. Outdoor lights will be protected against adverse weather conditions, like rain, ice and extreme temperatures and therefore will have sturdier plastic coatings over the wires and LED mounts. Indoor lights will have been checked to ensure they can be used against flammable materials etc as they tend to run slightly cooler than outside ones.
Check the lights for any signs of damage.
Holes in the plastic coating, any indication of burnt materials, broken LEDs - all of this should be checked before you start to put them up. Any damage is hazardous and could potentially cause fires or electrical problems. Roll them up when not in use (or even to help you string them up) to protect them.
Follow safety instructions and advice.
Keep lights away from naked flames and flammable materials.
Always unplug lights when not in use.
Never try to combine multiple sets into one.
Don't turn them on to test them whilst they're still in the packaging.
Unless you have an external socket put in for you by a qualified electrician, make sure all lights (even outdoor ones) are plugged inside. Never have an extension lead outside.
Control your lighting automatically to help save energy and money.
Electronic timers mean that you can save money by not being wasteful, only turning the lights on when needed. Some can detect light levels and switch on when it's dark enough, some are just timed set by you and some newer ones can even be controlled through an app (can’t everything these days?) meaning that you can control them even when you are away!
Unfortunately, there comes a time when Christmas is over and you have the monotonous task of taking the lights down. It is worth taking the time and effort to put them away neatly - keeping them tangle-free means you have a much easier job next Christmas and they are less likely to be damaged so you can get many more years of use out of them!
The Handyman teams have been asked many times over the years to put up external Christmas lights, and we've even put external sockets up for customers to prevent trailing wires going back into the house. Contact us now for an estimate!