Lighting tips for a bright, safe, energy-efficient season!

  • Dec. 14, 2011 11:00 a.m.

Submitted by BC Hydro–Part of the charm and tradition of the holiday season are the lights: colourful, twinkling lights brightening up the long nights and lighting up people’s homes. BC Hydro is offering tips on how to enjoy a bright, safe and energy-efficient holiday season.. Choose LED seasonal lights. LED lights last 10 times longer than incandescent lights, are more durable, and don’t heat up making them safer to use. Decorating with LED bulbs is 90 percent more efficient than using incandescent bulbs. If you have your lights up all December for an average of 6 hours a day, you could save over $20 by using LEDs versus incandescent bulbs.. Tips for outdoor lights:? Use Canadian Standards Association (CSA)-approved lights, cords, plugs and sockets that are marked for outdoor use or wet locations.? Be careful with the ladder! Get someone to hold the bottom of the ladder so that it doesn’t move or secure your ladder by tying it off and staking it to the ground.? Before you put light strings on a shrub, tree or your house, check them for breaks or signs of deterioration. Replace any light strings with frayed cords or loose connections.? Keep electrical connections off the ground. Use eave clips or insulated staples, rather than nails and tacks, to hold light strings in place.? Keep wiring clear of metal parts such as ornamental railings and drainpipes, to prevent any risk of shock from an electrical current.? Turn off your holiday lights before going to bed, and never leave lights on when you are away from home, unless they are connected to a timer or photocell.? Take down your lights after the holidays! Don’t leave them up year-round. Cords and bulbs will deteriorate, reducing their safety and shortening their life.. Safety tips for your tree:? Keep your tree at least three feet away from heat vents, baseboards and fireplaces.? Secure your tree so pets and children can’t knock it over.? Replace broken bulbs and light sets that have cracked or corroded sockets, frayed plugs, bare wires or loose connections.. If you’re using a real tree:? Keep your tree fresh by sawing off an inch or two from the trunk base at an angle. Immediately place the tree in a water-filled, no-tip stand and regularly check to make sure the tree stand always has plenty of water.? Unplug the lights before watering the tree.? Keep cords and lights away from the water.? Keep a fire extinguisher handy and your smoke detectors in good working order.. If you’re using an artificial tree:? Make sure your artificial tree is not flammable.? Keep metallic trees away from electrical cords or plugs.For more information, visit www.bchydro.com/holidaylights

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