How Does Outdoor Christmas Lighting Work?

How Does Outdoor Christmas Lighting Work? image by

Power Protection

Outdoor Christmas lights work by plugging them into the home's existing electrical power source. Users need to be careful not to overload power sources by plugging too many watts of lights into one circuit. Lights used outdoors need to be designated for outdoor use. These lights are grounded and assembled specifically to endure inclement weather. The style, color, and amount of outdoor lights that are used in homes is up to the homeowners individual desires. Some put up massive lighted Christmas displays, and some opt for smaller more elegant tiny white lights.

Lighted Scenery

Huge plastic figurines from Santa Clauses to reindeer to jolly elves can be purchased to decorate holiday lawns and rooftops. These large creatures have light bulbs inside of them and when they are plugged in, they glow from the inside out.

Icicle Lights

These twinkling lights are meant to give the illusion of frozen icicles hanging from the rooftops. They are secured to the roof's edge or to the gutter system, all the way around the house. When they are lit up at night, they twinkle, or glow solid, thus resembling icicles. These used to be made in only white lights, but now they are available in various colors. The speed of the twinkle can be adjusted by turning a knob hooked into the light string.

Rope Lights

These fairly new comers have become an interesting way to light up for the holidays. These plastic ropes have LED lights inside of them and the entire rope glows. They come in solid color choices such as green, red, blue and white. These are used to edge porches and driveways. They also will attach end to end with a coupler for a continuous string.

Tiny Twinkle Lights

The tiny twinkling lights are a Christmas decorating favorite. These are very small lights and also can be plugged in end to end to have one continuous string. Many people use these for bushes, trees and around windows and doors.

Light Safety

One should never attempt to power more than 3 strings of lights from the same source. This may cause the wires to heat up, causing a fire hazard. All outdoor lights should be plugged into an outdoor circuit. If an extension cord is necessary to power the lights, it must be one that is designated safe for outdoor use. Check the UL label on all wires of lights before you put them outside to make sure they are designated for such use. If there is no label, do not use them outside.

About this Author

Donna Thacker has been a writer/photographer for over 15 years. She held the position of associate editor/writer/photographer at Biker Ally Magazine. She currently is a photojournalist for The Biking Life, and has been featured on the front page of The Greenville Advocate, The Hillsboro Journal and The Sorento News. Thacker also designed and published several booklets of historical interest for local organizations.

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