Light up the holidays
Be safe and efficient with our holiday lighting tips
Many people will fill their homes with lights this holiday season. But before you hang them with cheer, check out our tips on how to be safe and save money this holiday season.
- Switch to LED holiday lights. LED lights come in a variety of colors and use nearly 80 percent less energy than conventional lights. LED holiday lights are cool to the touch and generally much more durable than incandescents. You can even buy LED holiday lights at SMUDEnergyStore.com. SMUD energy experts have done the work for you and selected a variety of high-quality lights for you to choose from.
- Use a programmable timer so your lights are only on when you want them to be. There are many options out there, including some “smart timers” that work with your smart phone.
- Inspect all of your holiday decorations and look for broken or cracked sockets and frayed or bare wires. Damaged light sets should be immediately discarded.
- When installing lights from a ladder, stay away from all overhead power lines and electrical service lines, and take your time moving up and down the ladder. Most injuries related to holiday lights involve falls from ladders.
- Avoid installing holiday lights from or on your roof unless using proper safety gear, including a harness or guardrails.
- Only use Underwriter’s Laboratory (U.L.) or Factory Mutual (F.M.) approved electrical devices, extension cords and lights. These approvals indicate the product has been tested for electrical safety and reliability when used as advertised.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when stringing lights. Most brands recommend against connecting more than three sets of lights or combining LEDs and other types of lights in a single strand.
- Use one long extension cord instead of linking several shorter ones. And never run extension cords through standing water or across walkways.
- Always unplug lights and electrical cords before connecting and hanging them.
- Keep paper, ribbon and other decorations away from holiday lights.
- Unplug or turn off all decorative lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
- Make sure outdoor electrical outlets have shock-protecting Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI).