Keeping Christmas Lights Safe From Weather
Keeping Christmas Lights Safe From Weather

You’ve done all the decorations for Christmas, and you’re excited to sway the passerby and neighbours. But before you go ahead with that, let us give you one critical reminder.

 

Have you made sure that your Christmas lights are safe from the weather?

 

Yes, rain and wind can wipe all your hard work just like that. Unfortunately, you can’t take revenge. Therefore, it’s necessary to take all measures to keep your Christmas lights and decorations away from the potential danger of weather.


Tips To Keep Christmas Lights Safe from Weather


Tip 1. Use Waterproof Outdoor Rated Christmas Lights


Using lights that are outdoor rated will have two advantages. First, they’re sturdy and can bear the strong force of wind and rain. Secondly, they’re typically shock-proof and are safe to use in rain or other bad weather conditions.

 

 

Tip 2. Use Dielectric Grease


Coating connectors with dielectric grease will repel the water and prevent moisture from getting into the electrical systems. Just apply some on the male connector and put the female connector inside.

 

 

Tip 3. Use Waterproof Cover/Receptacle Covers For Outdoor Extension Cords


For setting lights in the yard and driveway, you’ll need extension cords. Extension cords are not fully waterproof, but you can protect them using a waterproof cover/receptacle cover, readily available in the market.

 

These covers are made from UV resistant commercial grade plastic and have a watertight seal to prevent water from getting inside.

 

See pics:

 

 

 

Alternatively, if you don't have the budget to spend on receptacle covers, you can use plastic food containers as covers. Just cut it out from the upper side for wires to pass, but the connectors/outlet inside the box, and close it.

 

 


Tip 4. Avoid Nails, Use Clips


Nails are metals that are good conductors of electricity. Therefore, the risk of getting an electrical shock using nails is high. Additionally, they are sharp and may hurt you severely.

 

Instead of nails, use clips. Here are few clips that you should consider to keep your lights safe from the weather: 

 

1. All in One Clip: These clips are the most popular for decorating rooflines and gutters. They come in various sizes depending upon the tile width of your roof and are a perfect fit for C7, C9 LED lights.

 

 

2. Shingle Clips: As the name suggests, these types of clips are best suited for shingled roofs. They are compatible with C7 and C9 bulbs.

 

 

3. Magnetic Clips: These clips are best suited for decorations on iron surfaces, such as a gutter leaf. The clips have a magnet to hook and are compatible with C9, C7, and mini lights.

 

 

Tip 5. Deploy Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)


We generally use GFCI, where there’s a chance for electrical systems to come in contact with water. 

 

They measure the current going to and returning from the electrical equipment, and even a five milliampere difference will trigger the cut off system.

 

 

Use them in your power supply to easily prevent electric shock and electrocution during rain. 


Tip 6. Use Electrical Tape (or Plastic Wrap)


While setting up connections between the strings, use electrical tape or plastic wrap to seal the connection. It will help in keeping the moisture away and prevent rain. 

 

Duct tapes are highly recommended for outdoor use as they provide strong adhesiveness and hold. You can go with popular brands such as Gorilla glues.

 

 

Tip 7. Fasten & Secure Your Decorations

 

Avoid putting inflatables over the roof - the wind will likely take them away. Furthermore, rope off all your decorations on the grown and fasten them with hooks, clips, sandbags or zip ties. 

 

We recommend that you take expensive decorations inside the house each night.

 

 

What to do with decorations when it gets bad outside?


Even if you’ve weatherproof-ed your decorations for the holidays, there are some things you should keep in mind — which items/outdoor decorations do I need to bring inside when it rains? Which can I leave out? Which to bring inside when it's windy, which do I leave out?

 

When it rains:

 

  • Move large displays such as Santa and Reindeer inside.
  • Cover the significant strands of lights over the roof with a tarp.
  • Cover the tops of the lights which can’t be moved, such as driveway decorations, with a grocery plastic bag. Make sure you’re using waterproofing on cords and connectors.

 

When it gets windy:

 

  • Secure the inflatables with gravel and sandbags. Alternatively, you can buy inflatables that come with built-in sandbags.
  • Use ground hooks/stakes on small and medium-sized displays.
  • You can also use metal chains on giant inflatables to stand against the wind.

 

 

Here’s How To Do It: An Example


If things are getting overwhelming, understand the safety of your lights with a hypothetical example below.

 

  1. Take a critical look over your outdoors and note things down. Do you have a lawn, yard and porch to spread lights? What equipment do you need to buy to make the decoration weatherproof? 
  2. Measure the area and find out how much space you need to cover with lights. It will help you to know how many lights you need to buy. 
  3. It's time to get lights from the shop or online. Make sure you buy only outdoor-rated waterproof Christmas lights. Also, if the budget allows, buy GFCI and outdoor extension cord covers.
  4. Before you spread light over trees, plants and that chair in the lawn, inspect each light if it is okay with wiring and is in working condition.
  5. Now, put the lights over the fence, trees, plants and wherever you want to do.
  6. Keep connections to a minimum because fewer connections will decrease the chance of getting connectors wet. And therefore, more safety!
  7. Use plastic clips to hook and electrical tapes for wire safety. Place connections well and inspect for any loose connections.
  8. Plug the Christmas lights into your Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) or outdoor outlets.
  9. Put connectors and cords a little bit higher from the ground. If possible, hang the extension cord somewhere to keep it above ground.
  10. Enjoy your safe and secure Christmas lights!

 

 

FAQs


Can you leave Christmas lights in the rain?
You don’t need to worry if you have applied all safety measures like outdoor lights, covered connectors, and used GFCI.

 

How do you protect outdoor Christmas lights from rain?
Using outdoor-rated Christmas lights, GFCI, outdoor extension cords, proper taping, covers and dielectric grease are some basic measures you can take to protect outdoor Christmas lights from rain.

 

Are extension cords okay with the rain?
There are outdoor extension cords specially made for outdoor uses. If you don’t have one, you can use an explicitly-made cover for extension cords to make it waterproof.

 

Should I cover outdoor Christmas light plugs?
Yes, you should cover all connectors, plugs and lights and keep connections to a minimum to prevent hazardous situations.

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