With the holiday season approaching, some people get really excited to celebrate the time of year. For some people, this includes decorations and lighting appropriate for the specific holidays they celebrate, for religious reasons or otherwise. Once the lighting has been set up and is functioning properly, it can be a beautiful display. Setting the lighting up will be fun, but in some cases can pose challenges and require creative solutions.
The Fun of Setting up Lights for the Holidays
Holiday lighting can be a personal project, a time for the whole family to come together as a team, or even a community effort for the whole neighborhood. Think of it as a creative craft project, but rather than something you work on at a kitchen table or work bench, it's the size of the entire house. Some decorations are bought, others are built, and they all have to go up to form a visually appealing end result based on the imagination of whoever is in charge. Beyond the cosmetic appearance, there is a practical nature to the project of getting everything plugged in while keeping the wires discreet and without overpower any circuit line of electric power in your home.
The Draw of Lighting on Circuit Breakers
Holiday lighting is typically designed to be a low amperage, meaning in and of themselves they don't put much of a draw on the circuits. When layered with other lighting and decorations, the amount of power used builds up. This can be a problem with a circuit which is already close to it's limit, and especially when you consider the extra power use of cooking and entertaining guests during the season. You also have to consider what happens when you aren't setting up the lights. They may work fine because you were outside but trip a breaker when you come in and turn on the television.
Solving the Problem
There are a few things you can do to mitigate any potential problems. Make sure any extension cords are a heavy enough gauge for the amount of electricity running through them, and only use cords rated for outdoor use. If possible, try to plug them into a basement, dining room, or guest room as these tend to be on a circuit path which isn't using as much power as your living areas. If all else fails, consider hiring a professional electric contractor to add an extra circuit with designated outlets for your holiday decorations.
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