December 2, 2021

Holiday Lighting without Overloading Your Circuits


You may not think of your circuit breakers when planning out your holiday lighting displays, but maybe you should. According to the National Fire Protection Association, holiday decorations caused an average of $13 million in direct property damage annually from 2015 to 2019.

Whether you’re digging through holiday boxes for your lights or shopping for your first strings, keep in mind what your home’s electrical system can support. Applewood wants all our Colorado neighbors to enjoy a safe and happy holiday.

Electrical Safety Tips for the Holidays

  • Plan your lighting setup. If you’re putting up a lot of lights, take precautions to avoid overloading your home’s circuits. If too many lights are on one circuit, they can cause circuit breakers to trip, which may blackout your home and can create a fire hazard.

  • Calculate your amperage. Most home electrical outlets are on circuits rated to 15 or 20 amps. Compare that to the amp-rating of your lights (shown on the box or on a tag on the string) and be sure to not use too many strings on a single circuit. You can also divide a light string’s watt usage by 120 to find how many amps it uses.

  • Use a surge protector. It will not necessarily prevent an overloaded circuit but can be a good fire safety measure.

  • Decorate efficiently. Applewood recommends LED holiday light strings, which use half as much energy. They’ll decrease your overall possible electrical load, last years longer and produce less heat. They also reduce the risk of fire.

  • Measure carefully. Before you go shopping, take measurements around your home. Light strings come in different lengths, so read the boxes carefully to purchase enough lights for your needs.

  • Use tabs. If you’re attaching lights to your gutters, make use of light tabs for safe and easy installation and removal.

Serving All Denver and Boulder’s Holiday Electric Needs

We’re always ready to help homeowners during the holidays. Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric has experienced electricians who can assess your electrical system for optimal and safe lighting displays. We know that home emergencies don’t take the holidays off. Contact us for all your heating, plumbing and electrical needs.

Christmas tree lights on a safe electrical circuit.

Call  303-328-3060