As winter weather begins to stir and families everywhere begin to put up their Christmas trees, countless strands of lights will undoubtedly be hung, both on trees and houses. With that being said, many families will find themselves –  whether accidentally or on purpose – keeping their Christmas lights on all night long. That prompts the question –  should you be leaving your home or tree’s lights on all night long? The electricians at Mister Sparky will answer that question in their most recent blog.

Dangers of Leaving Your House’s Lights on All Night

During the holiday season, many people will opt to keep their home’s outside Christmas lights on all night long. Whether they do this to emphasize their home’s Christmas decorations or just to display their lights for a little bit longer, it’s important to make yourself aware of any potential dangers of doing this.

Keeping your home’s outdoor lights on overnight shouldn’t present any dangers to your home itself, so the choice is up to you (and possibly your neighbors, depending on how they might feel about it). The biggest risk in keeping outdoor Christmas lights on overnight comes in how costly using that much power is for you. You can save money on your utility bill by turning the lights off when you go to bed at night.

Dangers of Leaving Your Tree’s Lights on All Night

When it comes to leaving your Christmas tree lights on all night – every night – there is a level of danger with doing so. Lights, when turned on, produce heat. The longer that the lights are left on, the hotter they become. Therefore, leaving your Christmas lighting on for too long – regardless of whether it’s overnight or over a long period during the day – isn’t recommended.

Is the heat produced by Christmas lights enough to cause actual damage, though? That ultimately depends on what they’re being used on. Christmas lights that are hung on your tree, for example, could cause a fire if they’re left on for long periods of time. Dry trees, in particular, are more susceptible to damage from overexposure to lights than healthier trees are.

The chance of a fire starting from leaving lights on for too long is small, but the possibility still exists. Ultimately, if your lights are on a healthy tree and you don’t have too many strands of lights on the tree, you’re probably safe from any potential damage. However, the heat associated with leaving your tree’s lights on overnight creates an unnecessary risk that can easily be avoided by simply turning the lighting off after a few hours of use or before you go to bed.

How a Light Timer Can Help

If you keep your Christmas lights on simply because you’ve been forgetting to turn them off in the evening, a timer could be a good idea for your home. A timer for your tree’s lights can help your family stay safe from any damages that might result from leaving your tree’s lights on overnight. 

With a light timer, you can program your lights to turn off after a set number of hours so you’ll never have to worry about turning them on and off again. 

Other Holiday Safety Tips

Check Electrical Decorations

As we head into the holiday season and you begin to pull out all of your electrical decorations, make sure that they’re working properly and don’t have any loose connections or sockets. Ensuring that your decorations are safe to use before you put them up is critical in making sure you and your family stay safe this holiday season.

Water Your Tree

As we discussed before, the biggest danger with leaving Christmas tree lights on for extended periods of time is if they’re on dry trees. Dry trees are far more susceptible to fires being started from high temperatures. Watering your tree as needed is an important step in lowering your risk of a fire.

Protect Your Outlets

Before you plug all of your lights and decorations in, make sure that you’re not overusing your outlets. Space out which outlets you’re plugging your lights and electrical decorations into to ensure you don’t overload an outlet and cause an outage or a fire.

Contact Mister Sparky

If you need an inspection of your outlets or appliances heading into the holiday season, contact Mister Sparky today. We’ll make sure to properly inspect your house to make sure that it’s ready and prepared for the holidays. If anything needs to be repaired or replaced, you can count on the expert electricians at Mister Sparky to promptly and efficiently perform the service.