Science & Safety of Christmas Lights
Today we are going to discuss the science and safety of the holidays . I am not sure if we have any science nerds or Christmas light enthusiast around Houston but since I am I thought this might be a great time to share how Christmas lights work. First there are many different types of lights, the most popular light sold at Houston Christmas Lights is a commercial C9 Christmas light that is low voltage there are also mini lights, dome lights, and iridescent holiday lights. Each type of light runs on a different type of circuit. The type you can purchase from a big box store or retailer often has an issue. The issue is when one light burns out the entire strand can stop working so while you thought you were done messing with your ladder and lights until after
the holidays, think again, Trying to sole this can be a time-consuming mystery.
The type of lights Houston Christmas Lights sell were designed to run in a parallel circuit which means when one light stop working the entire strand can continue to run the way to tell is before you hang the lights, plug them into an outlet, take one bulb out and find out what happens.
The third type of circuit is what you use to see on older iridescent lights, these Christmas lights all run on a long series. If one bulb burns out there is a tool that will help you to discover which bulb needs replacing. Its called a non-voltage compact detector that will show you where that circuit break is. Before you use it, you want to know which direction the lights are getting power. When the detector starts to make some noise then you need to figure out where in your string of light the sound comes to an end. Generally, it comes down to two or three bulbs so it’s a matter of trial and error to now replace the bulb and see what happens and run through a process of elimination and until the lights are all back to working and keeping your holiday light show going. This tool will not work on a new strand of LED mini lights only incandescent lights. The non-voltage detector will only run-on high voltage lights.
LED Christmas Lights Creates Light Differently
The way Incandescent lights create lights is by wires that are attached to a source of energy when the bulb becomes heated it then gives off light to power your Christmas decorating. Incandescent are created to blow out because the inner filament inside the Christmas bulb burns and burns until it stops working which is usually about 1,000 hours. Let’s think of what that looks like, if you have your Christmas lights installed December 1st and run your lights for 30 days stopping on New Years it will take you about 4 years before the lights need to be thrown away.
Now low voltage LED lights creates light by electronic excitation as opposed to heat. Ready for a little more Christmas science? Electronic excitation is where the electron immerses a photon to receive its energy within a semiconductor crystal lattice (that’s what you see on the end of the bulb that is then screwed into the socket known as a thermal excitation when the two connect enough energy is created to transfer electrons to a higher energy band the light bulb and light is created. Since there is no heat during the process this is why LED Christmas lights use 90% less electricity because the energy that is being released is equal to the difference in energy levels between the electron energy states, it gets much more technical than this but now you have an idea as to why LED Christmas lights last 50,000 hours which is 50 times longer than the incandescent Christmas light. Another good advantage to using LED if you were to leave your lights on by mistake for say 24 hours, they are unlikely to overheat and start a fire. The majority of home fires that occur during the Christmas season are from Christmas trees, cooking, and candles.
Christmas Light Safety Tips
Speaking of danger and Christmas lights here is another fact. According to the consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the United States an estimated 13,000 people are seen in the emergency room and the biggest reason is from falling off a ladder while trying to hang Christmas lights, so please do not be a Clark Griswold. Let our expert Christmas light installers at Houston Christmas Lights share a few tips while some of these may sound redundant, its always good to air on the safer side of thing.
Tip # 1: If it is raining, do not attempt to install Christmas lights. Not only can the ladder be a safety hazard, but retail Christmas lights are an electrical hazard, these lights can give you quiet the shock and even through commercial grade lights are waterproof there is no sense in taking anymore of a risk then is absolutely necessary when it comes to roofs or to lights.
Tip #2 Test all your lights are working before you hang them up and never use indoor Christmas lights outdoors, if you do happen too and they get wet make sure to let them completely dry out before using them, When it comes to extension cords also make sure they are designed for outdoor usage, Keep the cords securely tucked I to your landscaping so they do not pose a slip and fall accident and never overload your circuit.
Tip # 3 Ladder safety is so important, only in Ollywood do they fall off a roof and walkaway unscathed. Make sure you have someone watching at the bottom of the ladder while the other person is working off it . Get the right size of ladder for your home don’t try to stand on tip toes or reach higher than you safely should. Avoid the top Runge and use your belt buckle as a general rule of thumb so the ladder does not slip from underneath you
Tip # 4 Do not get tipsy on eggnog or a poinsettia holiday cocktail and try to hang your Christmas lights, also use clips or hot glue to hang your lights do not nail or screw the lights. I don’t even recommend hot glue unless you absolutely mist as this is more of a Christmas light installer trick that if you are not careful can mess up your bricks for life
Tip # 5 Do not run lights through windows and doors, if you don’t have a plug for the outside of your home this can be tricky to maneuver but when you close doors and windows onto the cords accidents can occur like electrical fires and shocks.
If you would like more safety tips read this article from Houston fire department.
One finally Christmas light installation tip for this week, call your friendly holiday helpers at Houston Christmas Lights, they have been installing Christmas lights for over 20 years and will make sure you stay safely inside while they do all the work. Visit them online or call 281-545-7740