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Posted December 14, 2013 by HomeownerExpert in Green Living
 
 

Christmas Light Tips for Safety and Savings



With the holidays rapidly approaching, Christmas lights and all manner of other seasonal decorations are beginning to appear on homes across the country. Before you start stringing up lights of your own this year, consider these useful tips to stay safe and save a little time, energy and money while you’re at it.

  1. Be safe. Climbing ladders and dealing with electricity carry with them inherent risks. Do both at the same time – and add winter conditions into the mix – and the chances of a mishap only increase. To make sure you get your lights up safely, never do it alone; always have a partner to help you out. Also, choose a clear day when snow and rain aren’t an issue, and throw down a little rock salt before you attempt to balance a ladder on an icy sidewalk or walkway.

  2. Unpack slowly and carefully. It’s easy to accidentally break light bulbs when you’re dragging your old lights out of storage, so take your time. Check for broken and missing bulbs as you unwind Christmas lights. It’s better to replace bulbs first rather than discover one to be missing after you string them up and plug them in.

  3. Don’t skimp on extension cords. For outdoor lights, choose heavy duty extension cords that are rated for outdoor use. To minimize the risk of overloading, link no more than five strings of lights together without an extension cord.

  4. Consider lighting alternatives. Thousands to tiny light bulbs burning away can place quite an extra burden on you energy budget. Alternatives to traditional incandescent bulbs include LED lights, which use between 70 and 90 percent less energy and last as much as 10 times longer. Also consider solar lights, which are more expensive to buy but cost nothing to run.

  5. Take them down sooner. In addition to the obvious energy costs that come from running Christmas lights well past the holiday season, there’s also wear and tear to think about. Wind, rain, snow and sun all take their toll, and you can significantly extend the lifespan of your Christmas lights by taking them down sooner rather than later.

  6. Plan ahead. If you need new Christmas lights for next year, the best time to buy them is this year, the day after Christmas. Same goes for other seasonal decorations; you’ll be amazed how cheap they are on December 26th.