Circuit Upgrade for Christmas Lights: Do You Need It?

Circuit Upgrade LA | Zoom Electricians

The typical receptacle circuit in your house can withstand 15-20 amps. You should never exceed 20 amps. You may calculate how many amps your electrical appliances consume, but this time, you should include Christmas lights in the count. If your current circuit breaker can’t handle the additional electrical load, you may need a circuit upgrade for Christmas lights. 

If you are planning a large light display, you should evaluate what appliances are currently operating on the same circuits to avoid overloading them. According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 150 homes are destroyed each year as a result of improper Christmas lighting use. This is why installing new circuits specifically for your Christmas lights is a better option. Homeowners are not equipped with professional equipment to upgrade their circuit breakers at home. You can consult Zoom Electricians for a fast solution to your circuit breaker concerns today.

What sort of Christmas lights should you get?

You can conserve power by choosing modern LED lights instead of traditional holiday lights. They use significantly less power to light up. To compare, a strand of 50 traditional mini lights uses around 20 watts, but a strand of 70 LED mini lights requires just about 5 watts. That’s 20 additional lights and a lot less power use. You can also consult us for light installation services for your home. Depending on the state and usage of your existing circuits, you may want to consider adding new circuits for Christmas lights.

Christmas lights come in a wide range of colors, sizes, designs, and wattages. LED Christmas lights are available in the same variety of colors and styles as regular incandescent lights, but they consume 20% less energy. Operating incandescent lights can cost up to 90 times as much as running LED lights!

How to Prevent Overloaded Circuits When Using Christmas and Holiday Lights?

Many individuals enjoy stringing together many strands of Christmas lights to adorn their whole Christmas tree or areas of their home’s exterior. That’s alright as long as you remember to account for such connections when determining the electrical capacity of your outlet. When you connect six strands of 20-watt lights together, you’re actually pumping 120 watts into the socket.

Exterior lights could also be a safety hazard to the neighbors and passersby, so it’s recommended to contact a professional electrician to ensure that your circuit breaker is ready for the holidays. If you need assistance installing certain holiday lights in your home, you can consult us for an electrical Christmas installation in LA.

  • Calculate how many amps your circuit breaker can handle – You must establish which circuit or circuits your Christmas lights are connected to, as well as how many amps each circuit can take. This may be accomplished by locating your electrical panel and inspecting the label inside the box. Contact your local electrician if you can’t discover the amperage rating.
  • Do this for continuous loads – To avoid tripped breakers, double the amperage capacity of the circuit by .8 (80%). While you can surpass 80% of the allowed amperage, you risk tripping the breaker. You can also consult our electricians regarding continuous loads in your home.
  • Connect your circuit breakers to the labeled outlets – A breaker or fuse controls each circuit. If your breakers aren’t already linked to your home, now is a good opportunity to mark your electrical panel for future convenience. Flip breakers to check which outlets/areas switch off to discover which breaker is connected to which circuit.
  • Do the math – Once you’ve determined how many amps your outdoor circuit can sustain, sum up the power needs of all the lights connected to a single circuit. It’s time to do the calculation. By inspecting the box, you may determine the current requirements of your lights. This requirement can also be seen through the product tag.

How many electrical outlets should I use to plug in my Christmas lights?

It may appear most economical to thread your light strands end-to-end and then neatly plug the final strand into the socket. However, if feasible, disperse the strands over many outlets to lessen the electrical strain generated on any one outlet and avoid circuit overload from Christmas lights.

How many Christmas light strands can I plug into a single outlet?

The right answer is determined by three factors:

  • The wattage of your lights.
  • The amperage of your circuit.
  • The number of outlets that feed into one circuit.

You’ll need to conduct some basic calculations to figure out how many lights you can safely connect to your home’s outlets. When conducting your calculations, keep in mind that you may have linked numerous strands of lights together.

Upgrading your circuit breaker can ensure the safety of the building occupants’ holidays. You can also ensure that your circuit breaker is ready for the long term since it can handle the extra electrical load from newer appliances you may want to use in the future.

If you encounter issues while installing your holiday lights at home, learn more about what you can do with your electrical circuit breaker by reading our other blog posts. You may also consult our electricians for assistance.

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