You might want to do your Christmas lights installation on your own. There’s a reason this is not always recommended. You can ask yourself first: do you tend to put too many Christmas lights around your home? If you have done so in the past and there were moments when you thought your house would catch fire (or something popped and a whole strand just stopped working), it’s time to contact professional Christmas lights installers. Here are some basic guidelines, though.
Number of strands you can install
How many strands of lights can you install in your home? If you thought that you could install 25,000 individual light bulbs in your home, then you are in trouble. The number is much less than that once you do the math.
The formula is:
# of strands you can put = your circuit amperage ➗ a single strand amperage
This also means that you can’t cheat your way through this by connecting two or more strands together. If you did connect strands together, you need to multiply the strand amperage by the number of strands connected in one outlet as well.
Spread the outlet load
While it’s tempting to plug three or four strands of lights into one outlet, it’s not recommended. You always run the risk of your outlet burning out if you do this. As a rule, one strand should be plugged into one outlet. At the very most, you can try (and only they are reliable brands) two Christmas light strings strand into one outlet. The Christmas lights installers, if you are hiring any, would always recommend that you err on the safe side and not overload the whole city’s circuit.
Purchase LED lights
If you really want to maximize your amperage allowance, purchase LED lights. They don’t heat up as easily as their predecessors, are pretty safe in general even if they have been turned on for a long time and they consume less electricity. The LED’s energy-saving feature is only a bonus for your Christmas lighting installation project. Most people just buy them because they are safe, period. Another bonus is that they come in so many colors and sizes. You will definitely enjoy having a variety of designs for Christmas this year.
Look into battery operated and solar ones
If you are installing outdoors, you might want to look into solar-powered Christmas lights. Sure, the staying power of the lights would be wholly dependent on how well they charged under the sun during the day. However, most would stay on up to six hours if it was not a cloudy day, especially if you are located in a sunny patch of the planet. If you have the time and the devices to recharge batteries, you can also look into battery operated ones. These are great for tabletop pieces. Solar gives you the advantage of not having to worry about the lights throughout the season though because they turn off automatically once their solar power runs out.
Always consult professionals
No matter what kind of lights you have chosen for your Christmas lights installation, you must consult Christmas lights installers or at least someone who can assess the safety of your DIY project. This way, you can be festive and safe during the holiday season.