Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holiday Lighting Tips To Keep You In The Green

English: Decorated House, Lonsdale Drive, Enfi...
(Image: Wikipedia)
‘Tis the season to make spirits bright with holiday lights- but that doesn’t mean you have to go broke paying high energy bills this winter! While decorating the tree, house, or garland, a whole section of lights can go dark – along with holiday spirits, and light outages can be frustrating and time-consuming to repair.

To help reduce the frustration of decorating, the LightKeeper Pros have produced a list of holiday lighting tips- which we’ve reproduced, below. Plus check out these great ways to winterize your home and maximize energy savings via Green Living Ideas.

Holiday Lighting Tips

Measure: To estimate the number of lights needed for your tree, plan on an average of 100 lights per every foot of tree height.

LED vs. Incandescent: LED lights are more expensive than incandescent, but typically last longer. Due to their low voltage, more sets of LED lights can be strung together end-to-end than traditional sets. Be sure to use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL).

Inspect: Before stringing lights check for broken bulbs and sockets, frayed cords, burned out lights and loose connections. Replace and repair any damaged light sets. For sets with bulb outages, use a light tester to find and fix the problem in seconds.

Connect: Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the safe number of LED strands to connect. Use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord.

Indoor vs. Outdoor: Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use. Outside lights are exposed to water, so they should be rated for outdoor use. Wrap connections with electrical tape when two or more light strands are being used. Outdoor lights should be plugged into circuits protected by ground-fault-interrupters (GFCIs).

Live and Artificial Trees: To string lights on an evergreen tree, begin at the top of the tree and wind the strands through its center, widening with the tree’s shape. For deciduous trees, work your way up. Wrap lights around the base of its trunk, moving upward in a spiral formation. If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the UL label.

Replace and Repair Lights: To get the most out of your light sets, do occasional visual checks for any bulbs that are no longer working. Replace those bulbs as soon as possible. If a light set stops working or a section goes dark, use a light string tester to find and solve the issue in seconds.

For those who need more help or have a specific question, Ulta-Lit Technologies, maker of the LightKeeper Pro and LED Keeper testers, has set up a hotline for your pressing holiday lighting questions that’s available 7 days a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas at 888-858-2548.

Source: Green Building Elements. Original article by Dawn Killough.

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