Is your outdoor lighting ready for the holidays?



With mild weather in the forecast, you may consider moving your holiday gatherings outside this year.

To be prepared, check your outdoor lighting as nothing ruins a holiday get-together out more than poor lighting. Even if you aren’t thinking about having a party, but are more about some avid decorating, you need to make sure that your lighting is up-to-date and working properly.

While it will be mild weather, the evenings will cool a bit and will be perfect weather for a patio heater or fireplace. With a few additions to your patio you can extend your use of your patio to all year round including the upcoming holiday. Adding a fire feature to keep it warm can create a focal point, serves as a place around which to gather, entertain, relax, and enjoy time outdoors.  In case you missed it, check out our recent post on choosing a fire feature for your yard

As the holiday decorations start to go up this time of year, we often receive calls regarding electrical problems with the bathroom, garage or outdoor outlets not working. The usual cause for this problem is that the outdoor Christmas lights have tripped a GFI outlet or circuit breaker in your home. Standard circuit breaker will trip if you over load the wiring with too many lights on one breaker. GFI circuits are a little bit different. Morning dew, rain, or a sprinkler may introduce a bit of moisture into the Christmas electrical plugs and this could result in a ground fault. Weather proofing or covering of the electrical outlet and plug connections should reduce nuisance of GFI-Tripping.

HolidayHow to check your circuit breaker: First, unplug the outdoor lighting. Second, go to the electrical panel, check the circuit breaker and reset it if needed. Now, test the outlet for power. If it’s working, allow time for the wiring to dry out and reconnect your lights.

GFI outlets are outlets with the test and reset buttons in them. Many times, the GFI outlet in a bathroom or garage that feeds power to the outdoor outlet has tripped because of a wet plug on the holiday lights. Now, what to do: First, unplug the outdoor lighting. Second check all the GFI outlets by pushing the test and then the reset buttons. Check for GFI outlets in the bathrooms, basement, garage and the outdoor outlets themselves. Now test the outlet for power. If it’s working, allow time for the wiring to dry out and reconnect your lights. For more details on resetting your GFI outlets, check out our previous post here.

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