Christmas Lights and Electrical Safety
Christmas is a fun, colourful and vibrant time of the year and we want to make sure that its a safe one too.
Are your old Christmas lights actually safe?
Each year we get the Christmas lights out from the loft or damp garage to decorate our homes and gardens but poorly stored Christmas light can cause a hazard, along with overloaded electrical sockets.
Christmas lights which are several years (if not decades) old may not be designed to cope with some of the external elements they face when stored in cold garages or damp lofts. They may not also meet strict new electrical safety guidelines now in place with any electric Christmas light set.
When getting your lights out if you are unsure about the safety we would advise to replace the sets from a well know brand. (E.g. Premier or Konstsmide).
When looking to replace my old lights with new ones what do I need to look out for?
Christmas lights run off either mains voltage (230v) or low voltage which ranges from 12-24 volts.
The most popular Christmas lights are low voltage as they are the safest and run of a low voltage transformer that reduces the risk of electrical shock. On the Christmas lights box it should clearly state whether they run of mains or low voltage.
The majority of Christmas lights now use LED’s (light emitting diodes) and run off low voltage transformers with a small proportion of customers still opting for the traditional filament (incandescent) lamps which are mains powered.
The ‘Electrical Safety Council’ on their website recommends to opt for LED Christmas Lights over filament Christmas lights because...
- LED Christmas lights operate at low voltage which reduces the risk of an electric shock.
- Low voltage Christmas lights use much less power, they don't generate anywhere near the amount of heat a filament bulb produces therefore reducing the risk of fires and electrical burns.
- They use much less energy than filament bulbs (typically 80-90% less) which makes them much more economical to run and LED lights can last up to 60 times longer.
- LED lamps are made from a durable plastic whereas filament bulbs are made from glass which is more likely to smash especially when installed to the outside of houses during strong winds and gales.