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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
When it gets windy:
If things are getting overwhelming, understand the safety of your lights with a hypothetical example below.
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.