Series Vs. Parallel Circuit for Christmas Lights
Christmas lights add a festive environment to your home or business during the holidays. They can adorn your Christmas tree inside or hang outside on shrubs and trees.You can hook them up in series or in parallel.
Series lighting resembles a loop. A wire goes from one side of the wall socket to one side of the first bulb, and then from the other side to the next bulb and so on, and then back to the wall socket.
In parallel lighting, the two wires from the wall socket connect to the two contacts on the first bulb. Then the same two wires extend on to the next bulb, and then the next continuing on to the last bulb.
Many parallel lights have a second outlet at the end of the string for extending with another lighting string. But you cannot extend or add on to series lights.
- Christmas lights add a festive environment to your home or business during the holidays.
- Many parallel lights have a second outlet at the end of the string for extending with another lighting string.
One burned-out bulb in a parallel system will not affect the other bulbs. But in a series system, a burned-out bulb opens the circuit and shuts off all the lights.
Since series lights make a loop, they may work better around the Christmas tree. Parallel lights may work better inside along a banister or outside along the eaves.
Both series and parallel Christmas lights may have small, harmless looking wiring. But they still carry 120 volts from the wall socket and can deliver a severe shock if not handled properly.
Hang Christmas Lights On Metal
Christmas lights can add a little sparkle, as well as illuminations, to a variety of different decors both inside and outside of your home. Use tape to hang your Christmas lights on metal indoors. Clear packing tape can hold your lights to a metal surface without damaging the surface or the lights. Hang lights on hooks attached to suction cups on most outdoor metal surfaces. Retailers who sell lights also will sell bags of suction cups with hooks. Remove the zip ties with scissors at the end of the holiday season.
- One burned-out bulb in a parallel system will not affect the other bulbs.
- Since series lights make a loop, they may work better around the Christmas tree.
Richard Asmus was a writer and producer of television commercials in Phoenix, Arizona, and now is retired in Peru. After founding a small telecommunications engineering corporation and visiting 37 countries, Asmus studied broadcasting at Arizona State University and earned his Master of Fine Arts at Brooklyn College in New York.