No sooner are the Halloween decorations down, people start to look forward to the festive season and hanging up the party lights. Over the next few months it will get darker and outdoor lights will start to appear all over shops, homes and businesses.
But why do we put colourful lights up over the party season and how can you ensure your outdoor lights are safe?
Why do we put lights up at Christmas?
Other than looking nice (depending on your taste!), Christmas lights don’t really serve a purpose these days. We put them up to ‘feel festive’ and to add that extra bit of something to the Christmas tree.
Without electricity, Winter in the 12th century was pretty dark and gloomy – fires were lit purely for necessity. The first ‘ceremonial’ lighting of a festive light allegedly happened in Germany, with the lighting of a ‘yule log’. A reminder that the sun would return and better times were ahead. As with most traditions, a merging of religious symbolic beliefs and modern commercialism ended up with us putting Christmas lights on a tree. A pretty risky business before the advent of electricity, as people would put candles on trees!
We can thanks a man called Edward H. Johnson, an associate of inventor Thomas Edison for the birth of the modern electric Christmas light. He had tree light bulbs made especially made for him, he was widely ignored at it was thought to be a publicity stunt. The lights did catch on, but because of the prohibitive cost were not widely used by the public until the 1030’s.
These days, most decorations use LED lights and are used in the home, as well as on public buildings. Outdoor lights are very popular across the UK, with some home owners and businesses taking months to prepare their annual displays! Love them or loathe them, festive lights are now as much a part of Christmas, as mince pies and Santa.
Tips For Outdoor Christmas Light Electrical Safety
With a mass of wires and running on electricity, outdoor Christmas lights need to be treated as a hazard. Accidents can and do happen every year! Here are our top tips for outdoor lighting this party season.
Only use specific outdoor lights – this should be specified on the packaging. Some lights are dual purpose and can be used indoors or out. If you lose the original packaging, make sure you label your lights before putting them away. This will save a nasty mix-up the following year!
Don’t run cables out of windows/doors – although it is tempting to plug lights in indoors and run them out through the windows, please consider a proper outdoor electrical box. This will be safer and weather proof.
Don’t overload outlets or extension cables – always check that your lights are compatible with whatever you are plugging them into. Don’t use extension blocks that cant handle lights being on for a long time or outdoors.
Switch them off! – finally, don’t forget to switch your lights off at bedtime! You cant see your lights if you are asleep anyway. It’s also kinder to the environment and saves you pennies on the electricity bill.
You can find even more light safety tips here.
Non Festive External Lighting Services
We provide a variety of external lighting services, from flood lighting to garden lighting. We also design and install car park lighting solutions – very practical for dark winter nights.
Get In Touch
If you require help and advice to get the best from your lighting this Christmas and over the darker months, please get in touch. We offer a range of external lighting services and will be happy to assist you with any queries you may have.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08432 894645.