Holiday lights instantly transform a home during the holiday season. In 1882, the very first holiday light was created and homeowners have been decorating their homes with holiday lights since the 1930s. Now, there are numerous variations for holiday lights in style, size, and color selections to participate in the festive spirit. With so many selections, which lights are the best and safest lighting options for your home? Explore our blog to discover the best and worst holiday lights with valuable safety tips.

Best Option: LED

The best choice for holiday lights are LED lights. Not only are they energy efficient, but they have a long life cycle and are safe. Today’s LED light strings also last approximately 50 times longer than incandescent light bulbs and draw very little electricity. Another benefit is LED lights increase safety with a lowered risk of a possible fire as they produce minimal heat. Best of all, though LED lights cost more than traditional incandescent lights, you will be saving money in the future as LEDs use less energy and do not need to be replaced as often.

Worst Option: C-9 Retro Bulbs

C-9 light bulbs are typically large with a bright light and retro aesthetic. The downside to these light bulbs is they get dangerously hot and use a great deal of energy. For your own safety, you need to periodically check C-9 bulbs for excess heat production due to the possibility of a fire or electrical short. If you plan to use your holiday lights all night, you can expect your energy bills to increase.

Check Older Incandescent Light Strings

Consumer Reports recommends carefully examining older incandescent light strings before using them.

  • Check for frayed wires
  • Make sure wires are still pliable; not brittle
  • Hooking many strings together risks power overload

It’s normal for incandescent bulbs to feel warm.

Safety Tips:

  • Never nail or staple light strings to roofs, walls, and/or baseboards (this can impair wire insulation)
  • Hang lights over nails for exterior lighting, use hanging clips for interior lighting
  • Use a timer for holiday lights to help reduce energy usage or dangers of a fire
  • Make sure to use outdoor lights outdoors and indoor lights indoors- exterior lights will produce too much heat for indoor usage and in order to use lights outdoors, they must be weather-resistant (double check to see if lights are safe for both outdoors and indoors)

Kirby Electric is a Premier Electrical Contractor Serving the Greater Seattle Area

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial lighting. We provide top electrical services that best fit your building’s needs and present energy management solutions. Such solutions provide economically and environmentally beneficial services. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

10/27/20 This post has been updated to include new information about LED light strings.