Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas Lights: Dos and Don'ts

A good set of well-placed Christmas lights can make the difference between a simple, run-of-the-mill house and a knockout feature of holiday cheer. Putting up Christmas lights can bring both a sense of achievement and a renewed vigor for the holiday season. Anyone can hang Christmas lights, regardless of skill level or experience, but following these key steps will help take your Christmas display to a whole new level.

1) Gather the proper materials: What kind of lights are you looking for? The more festive and larger-bulbed C7 and C9s? The traditional green-cap string lights? Or perhaps icicle lights to match the winter season? Make sure to get timers and controllers as well as clips to hang the lights.

2) Measure, measure, measure: Grab a tape measure and get to work. There are few things worse when stringing lights across the door and window frames of your home than coming up short just before the end.

3) Carefully consider your hanging surfaces: Christmas lights can be installed on the roof line, gutters and shingles, but did you know there are specific clips for each surface? Be sure to inspect these surfaces for any potentially loose elements. You wouldn’t want the line to fall and risk an accident or electrical issue.

4) Pay attention to power wattage: Overloading a circuit or blowing a fuse is a common occurrence with improperly installed holiday lights. First, check the total number of amps the wire is rated for. Remember that number. The professionals multiply the wattage of the bulb by the number of sockets and then divide by 115. For example, 10 watt bulbs x 100 sockets / 115 = 8.69 amps. This number needs to be less than 10% of what the wire is rated for. Got it? Simple math.

5) Finally, hang them up and turn on the power! Enjoy your beautiful work of holiday art.

Christmas lights have been an American tradition for longer than any of us can remember. But unfortunately, if not installed correctly, they run the risk of causing electrical issues and unwelcome headaches. If you’d like to know more information about how your wattage is affected, feel free to give us a call at 1-888-969-BECO or visit us at our website. We’d love to help you safely spread holiday cheer this season.