The holiday season is upon us in the Hamptons. The arrival of the most wonderful time of the year means it’s time to get out those holiday lights, but nothing saps the holiday spirit faster than those old-fashioned string lights that never work right—one bulb goes out and they’re all gone! So we went to Bill Shea of William J. Shea Electric for some expert tips on how to light up your home this holiday season.
The Question: Bill, I want to install holiday lighting throughout & around the house—any ideas?
The Answer from Bill Shea of William J.Shea Electric: Holiday lights can come in many different forms, but those old string lights are a thing of the past. The market has finally come out with LED holiday lighting—super energy-efficient, high-visibility, a multitude of colors and, if one bulb goes out, the rest still stay on!
With LED strings you can connect up to 20 strings together and plug into a single outlet (check manufacturers requirements). During the holidays, the Montauk Lighthouse is lit up with the same LED’s you can use in your home.
My recommendation is: Have a licensed electrican install 1- 120v, 20amp circuit and duplex receptacle at the location of your inside holiday tree, or if outside install 1- 120v, 20amp circuit and weatherproof GFCI receptacle. Indoor and outdoor timers can control your lights without the “Bah, humbug, darn lights don’t work” worries.
Simple little battery-operated single-candle lights inside the windows can make a home look so warm and cheery. A small spotlight installed in a ground spike shining at a wreath can add to the holiday spirit. A beautiful LED low-voltage menorah can light up that festive table. Your options are limited only by your imagination.
•Are my outlets 3-prong with cover plates on them? Loose outlets without cover plates can pose a hazard.
•Are the lights being used U.L. approved? All lighting must be U.L. approved so you know that they have been tested for safety. Nothing like peace of mind—especially during the holidays!
Have your own questions about holiday lights for your home, indoor/outdoor lighting or other electric issues? You can contact William J. Shea Electric at (631) 668-1600 or www.WilliamJSheaElectric.com. And you can always send us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may even see your question answered right here at Ask the Expert.