Getting a Jump on Holiday Lights and Christmas Decorations

Take Time to Remember Electrical Safety While Hanging Christmas Lights

Christmas decorations seem to get more elaborate every year, especially when it comes to outdoor Christmas decorations. With as much Christmas yard decor as some people use, it is a wonder that they are not doubling their electric bills! But electrical safety when managing Christmas lights is essential. This article will detail some things that will help make decorating safe, eco-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing for the whole neighborhood.

Which Lights are the Right Ones?

lightsWhen it comes to outdoor Christmas lights and decor, there are many choices for homeowners. From sophisticated, tiny, white twinkle lights to adorably cartoonish inflatables of snowmen taking charge of Santa’s sleigh, one can find everything. From whimsical to contemplative, there is something for everyone. 

If a homeowner prefers a minimalist approach, perhaps the nets of lights that drape over hedges would be sufficient, or just a traditional string of lights encircling the blue spruce tree in the front yard would be the perfect acknowledgment of the holiday. Other people may prefer to celebrate the holiday more spectacularly, adding a new light-up or inflatable decoration each year until they need a map to set it all up.

Electrical Safety Precautions

safetyBecause holiday decor is only brought out for a few weeks a year, it is necessary to do a safety check to ensure everything is working correctly and is safe. Pests and age can cause exposed wires and other structural damage that can increase the chance of electrical fires and shock.  Listed below are a few safety tips that homeowners should consider when preparing to decorate:

  • Examine decorations, plugs, and cords for damage before plugging anything in.
  • Plugin to test whether or not the lights work. 
  • Place decorations strategically to avoid overloading outlets and circuits.
  • Use extension cords sparingly.
  • Installing GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets for outdoor plugs.

Eco-Friendly Lighting and Decor

Perhaps a person is more concerned with their electric bill than with their winter decor or has ecological concerns regarding household energy uses. These people can decorate pretty extravagantly as well with more green options. As technology improves, it will only get easier to find eco-friendly options like those listed below:

  • LED Christmas Lights: These strings of lights don’t use a traditional incandescent light but an LED or light-emitting diode that gives off the same amount of light for much less energy. These can be used indoors or outdoors (though they must be rated for outdoor use) during the holidays or year-round for a lovely effect.
  • Solar Christmas Lights: These lights are powered by solar batteries that charge during the day and expend their energy by making the lights glow at night. These are excellent choices for not increasing energy use.
  • Battery-Operated Christmas Lights: Lights powered by batteries commonly found in the home add $0 to the electric bill, but the batteries are not environmentally friendly. However, homeowners can combat this by using rechargeable batteries.  

About Trustworthy Electric

Trustworthy Electric has over 25 years of experience serving Montgomery, AL, and the surrounding neighborhoods. They provide upfront pricing, fully stocked trucks, and military discounts. Call them today for holiday lighting installation in Montgomery, AL.

Prepare the Holiday Lights and Decorations Early!

How to Get a Safe Head Start on Decorating for the Holidays

As the holidays comes into view on the horizon, many homeowners find that it’s time to think about decorating the house for the holidays. Once Thanksgiving has come and gone, and there’s still leftover turkey in the fridge, the holiday displays start going up. No one likes to rush their holiday decorating, and rushing through it can also cause other issues, like electrical safety hazards. Luckily, here are three ways homeowners can get a jump on their holiday decorating. 

Getting the Correct Lights

Finding the right lights can be a challenge for those who don’t know what they’re looking for. There are plenty of lights to choose from these days. There are icicle lights that hang down and twinkle, small colorful lights that can blink in patterns or stay illuminated, and the larger retro lights that add elegance to any house. There are also inflatable snowmen, Santas, and many other festive figures with interior lights and a fan that keeps them inflated during the night. But that’s not all. There are also projectors that can display a festive scene on the side of the house. 

But getting the correct lights isn’t just about style. It’s also about saving money. Incandescent lights are the cheaper option at the checkout counter, but they are more expensive to run as they use more energy. LED lights are more pricey, but they only cost a fraction of what incandescent lights do in terms of energy use.  

Keep Things Safe!fire

Whatever lights the homeowner decides on, it’s imperative that some basic electrical safety precautions be taken to ensure a safe and fun holiday season. Checking for things like frayed wires, missing bulbs, and loose connections can help keep things safe. Plus, all instructions and warnings provided with the lights should be followed. For example, incandescent string lights can only be put up by connecting a maximum of three in a row. Any more than that can present a safety issue. LED lights, on the other hand, can be connected in many more strings. 

All decorations used outside should be rated for outdoor use and plugged into a GFCI outlet. It’s also a good idea to avoid overloading any power strips by following the wattage recommendations on the strip. Finally, it’s best to keep cords out of the way so they won’t be tripped on or damaged. 

ecoGreen Decorations Are In!

Believe it or not, many homeowners are turning to eco-friendly lighting options. Using these “green” lights in place of older incandescent lights can help homeowners save a lot of money on energy bills over the holiday. LED lights are a good start, but many homeowners are also taking it a step further with solar-powered lights. These lights have a rechargeable battery that powers up during the day and powers the lights at night. 

Decorating for the holidays doesn’t have to be stressful, and it shouldn’t cost a fortune. But most of it all, it should be done safely. Checking with a professional electrician can help ensure the house is set up for a safe and successful holiday season, both inside and outside!

About Trustworthy Electric Inc.

The friendly professionals at Trustworthy Electric Inc. have been serving Montgomery, AL, with pride for over 20 years. They offer a problem-solver guarantee on every job, meaning they fix the problem that same day. They also provide on-time service and upfront pricing, so there’s no waiting around and no surprises! Call now for electrical services!

Lights Out or an Easy Light Switch Fix?

Understanding Lighting and Common Light Switch Issues

It’s frustrating when you flip a switch and the light doesn’t turn on as expected. Many times these lighting issues can simply be due to a minor issue within the switch itself, but it might seem impossible to determine the source of the problem. Homeowners having an issue with their lights can gain helpful insight from experienced electricians and get to the root of the problem.

Check the Light Fixture for Any Problems

light fixtures hanging from the wall

The light fixture can pose a problem even if it never has before. The first thing to check on the fixture is the lightbulb; it is the cheapest and easiest fix so make sure the lightbulb hasn’t burned out or cracked. Also, make sure that the lightbulb is screwed in tightly to ensure a secure connection. If neither of these easy fixes seem to work, take a look at the metal socket tab at the bottom corner of the socket and make sure that it is in contact with the bulb. If it isn’t, try to simply bend the metal until it comes in contact. 

If none of the bulb-related solutions work, it’s possible that the wiring from the light switch to the fixture is causing an issue. Before investigating, make sure the power is off for the circuit and take a look at the wiring connection. Unless the homeowner is experienced, beyond the initial look, it is best to trust professionals to tamper with the wiring connection.

If the light turns on but is flickering, that is a common sign that the switch contacts are getting old and should be replaced. This is also an inexpensive and easy fix and should solve the lighting issue. If this isn’t the case, it is possible that the light bulb socket has gone bad and needs to be replaced. 

Common Signs of a Broken Connection

someone hearing the buzz of a broken connection

Over time, wiring problems can occur whether it is because the wiring is defective, or if it’s worn out or becomes loose. When this happens, it causes arcing which leads to overheating so it’s important to replace these when it is discovered. 

If there is a hissing, popping or crackling noise, it is likely an inexpensive fix to make. It is possible to replace a light switch as a DIY project, but the wiring may become complicated so it’s best to trust a local professional to make this repair. 

If It’s Not the Wiring, It Could Be a Loose Toggle

It is also very common for the toggle of the light switch to be in an improper place, which can cause functionality issues. Oftentimes this issue can be determined by simply touching the light switch toggle. This usually happens from the initial install, but it is possible that it has moved out of place over time. 

a broken light toggle

If this issue occurs, one may think it would be a simple fix; however, it is always best to contact an experienced electrician to avoid further problems and ensure safety. Not only can a faulty electrical repair  result in electrical shock, but it can even lead to a fire.

About Trustworthy Electric

Trustworthy Electric has been in the industry for 26 years. Since then, they have provided quality electrical work at fair prices in and around Montgomery. Trustworthy Electric provides solutions for any lighting, electrical installation, and electrical safety needs.

'Tis The Season to Get All of The Holiday Lights Ready!

Preparing to String the Holiday Lights

The holiday season is just around the corner. For some, this may bring a bit of stress for all of the cooking and cleaning that needs to be done before any guests arrive for holiday meals and celebrations.

But that stress is easily overcome with the excitement for hanging stockings, breaking out the winter snowmen decorations to place around the house, and celebrating with family and friends. This time of year is also a perfect time to start getting the outdoor holiday lights ready! But before buying new lights, double-check this three-part list.

1) Wait for Black Friday Sales

black friday salesHoliday lights can be so expensive, especially when people want to use them inside their house, outside of their house, on their trees, and around the rest of their yard. Wait for the sales before buying new lights.

Black Friday is like a holiday in itself; it’s the holiday of shopping! But most stores have great sales, including sales on holiday lights. Prices per strand can range from $5-30, but that price could be knocked down 15-20% or more!

The only downside is that people may have to get up a little earlier than they’d like on the day after Thanksgiving to get to the stores before the lights are picked over.

2) Go Green With the Holiday Lights This Year

These days, there are eco-friendly options for nearly everything people can buy. That includes holiday lights! Using solar-powered lights or LED lights are not only better for the environment, but they help homeowners save money on electricity bills.

going green

Think about it. Most people turn on their lights when it gets dark outside, typically around 4-5 pm in the winter, and only turn them off once they go to bed. That’s 5+ hours every day that homes are using extra electricity for holiday lights. So save some money and consider going green with the holiday lights this season.

3) Take Electrical Safety Precautions

Holiday lights are fun and festive to use, but they do require some caution when they are being strung around the house or the yard. Keep an eye out for possible mistakes to avoid electric shocks or other electrical injuries. Here are a few electrical safety tips.

  1. electrical safetyConsider switching to LED lights; they don’t get as hot when in use.
  2. Check for any cracked sockets or frayed wires while untangling the lights.
  3. If using an artificial tree, make sure that the tree is “flame resistant” before stringing lights around it.
  4. Use holiday light clips rather than nails or screws. They do less damage to the house and prevent electrical shock when hanging the lights.
  5. Don’t plug more than three sets of holiday lights into a single extension cord at the risk of it overheating.
  6. Always unplug the holiday lights when going to bed to avoid fires.

Following these basic safety tips can ensure that homeowners enjoy their holiday lights and the holiday season!

About Trustworthy Electric

At Trustworthy Electric, trust isn’t just in the name; their word is their bond. So trust them when they say they'll fix a problem the same day or customers don’t pay! All of their licensed electricians work quickly and accurately to make sure all work is done safely and to code. With any electrical repair or installation, the safety of all customers is at stake, and Trustworthy Electric guarantees that they’ll get the job done right the first time.