Safety Tips for Automated Holiday Lighting

The holidays are that time of year when homeowners start breaking out the festive holiday lights for interior and exterior decorating. Some homeowners on the same street or neighborhood compete and out do themselves with lighting up their homes and properties to create impressive lighting scenes. Doing this adds to the holiday cheer and also the electricity bill at the end of the month. So, we want to encourage our customers to consider automating their holiday lighting for maximum energy efficiency which would be easier on the wallet as well.

Below is a list of tips we have put together for your holiday lighting display. Before we get to those tips, though, let us touch upon home automation. Modern home automation technology makes it possible for you to automate every light in your house. We highly recommend it for exterior lighting. Automating your exterior lighting allows you to program your holiday lights to turn on or off at a specific time, or to vary in their times and intensities in order to create exciting scenes.

That said, holiday lighting is a common source of accidental structure fires this time of year. Accidental fires cause millions of dollars in damage along with unnecessary injuries. The good news is that holiday lighting can be implemented in a way that mitigates nearly all fire risks.

For example, you can establish different lighting intensities for independent strings of lights to create a scene that is brighter in some spots that others. You can also program various scenes to change automatically as the evening progresses. The possibilities are endless.

As for those tips we promised earlier in this post, here they are:

1.Overloaded Electrical Outlets
Far too many holiday lighting displays are dangerous due to overloaded electrical outlets. Remember that there are only two sockets in a standard outlet for a reason. If you need access to more, be sure to use a certified surge-protecting power strip adequate for your needs.

2. Overloaded Light Strings.
Stringing too many light strings together is a big problem for older lights using incandescent bulbs. It’s not so much of an issue for LED lights. Still, please read the instructions that come with your lights and NEVER string together more lights than instructions call for.

3.Check String Lights for Damage
Electricity is a wonderful invention, but it is also dangerous. Before installing any holiday lighting, be sure to check your light strings for any signs of damage. This is especially important for interior lighting. If light strings show signs of wear, broken plastic insulation, or loose wiring at any of the sockets, be sure to make repairs before installation. If a safe repair isn’t possible, discard the string and replace it.

4.Use Extension Cords Sparingly.
It’s never a good idea to string extension cords all the way around your house just to put up a holiday lighting display. A simple rule of exterior lighting is to use extension cords sparingly. Any cords you do decide to use outdoors should be protected at the input end. A simple way to do that is to wrap the plug in plastic and duct tape to keep moisture and animals out.

5. Turn lights off when you’re not home.
If you are planning on installing interior holiday lighting, be it lights around the house or christmas tree lights, make sure the lights are off when no one is home. Even the safest installations present some measure of fire risk in indoor spaces and could risk the lives of your pets. The same holds true when you’re sleeping. If interior lighting cannot be monitored, turn it off.

We, at Uxari want you to have a safe and happy holiday season. Take the necessary steps to maintain your holiday lighting, and you should be just fine. If you’d like more information about installing your holiday lighting with home automation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We have a home automation system that’s right for you.