Outdoor Holiday Lighting Safety and Money Saving Tips
December has arrived and the streets are starting to look festive with Christmas and other holiday lighting displays outside of the home. Insurance Jack would like to remind our customers, family and friends of a few ways to save money, conserve energy and ensure a safe home while celebrating during the holidays.
First, it might be time to swap out traditional incandescent bulbs with more efficient LED lights. LED’s used to cost two or three times as much as regular bulbs, but the price difference between the two technologies is now pretty minimal.
LED light strings produce less heat so are not hot to the touch, meaning they are a great choice around kids. Also, LED lights use about 80 percent less energy than conventional bulbs. They often last longer and are much brighter.
Extension cords should be labeled as “approved for outdoor use”. String over, not under walkways and make sure all plugs/connections are off the ground. To keep things dry, it’s always a good idea to wrap plastic grocery bags around the cord ends and splitters and secure them with duct tape.
Never run an extension cord under a rug or coil them tightly – this can cause them to overheat.
All outside lighting should be run to a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) safety outlet. If your house was built after the mid 1970s, chances are that your outdoor plugs are already protected by a GFCI. If not, you can install one yourself for about $15.
For safety and security, use zip ties, rope, wires and gutter clips — whatever it takes to withstand Canada’s gusty winters.
Other helpful tips:
- Use a good quality light set
- Avoid overloading your circuits
- Test and check your lights & cords before installation