It wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas lights so here are some tips on how to make them safe and energy efficient. We recommend LED bulbs but the following advice applies to old fashioned incandescent bulbs as well.
1. Amazingly, one in three Brits don’t use energy efficient fairy lights. According to a survey by Good Energy, changing to LED bulbs and using a timer to turn them off at night could knock up to £20 off your festive electricity bill.
2. Check the wires and connections for any signs of damage before putting them up.
3. Outdoor wires, plugs and sockets should be manufactured specifically for outdoor use.
4. If you’re thinking of buying new lights, look for a CE mark and the British Standards Kitemark.
5. Always use an RCD on outdoor electrical equipment (a safety device that can save lives by instantly switching off the power in the event of a fault). If the wiring in your home isn’t RCD protected you can buy plug-in (portable) RCDs from DIY outlets for around £10.
6. Be careful not to overload sockets. Avoid extensive use of extension sockets and adapters, and don’t plug multiple extensions into each other.
7. Do not attempt to re-wire 2 sets of lights into a single plug. This is dangerous and causes a potential fire risk.
8. If you’re looking in on an elderly relative or neighbour this Christmas a quick check on the condition of their Christmas lights is a good idea.
9. Police recommend making your home look occupied if you’re going away at Christmas. A 24-hour segment timer costs around £5, and can be used with a lamp to give the impression that someone’s home. Remember to use an energy-efficient light bulb.
10. You can find more information on electrical safety at www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk.
If you want your home to be greener, energy efficient lighting and solar power are more affordable than you think & could save you hundreds of pounds off your electricity bill.
Please contact Paul & Louise Gibbons at Greenwire Solar near Newbury to find out more.