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How To Use Extension Cords For Outside Christmas Lights

Updated on November 16, 2014

End The Extension Cord Nightmare For Your Outside Christmas Lights and Decorating

Yep, end that nightmare.  All you need are the right extension cords to do your Outdoor Christmas Lighting and you will be looking forward to decorating for Christmas again next year.

I remember decorating with my mom and using these little clip on outlets for the extension cords and wrapping every connection in plastic wraps and little baggies...wow we've come a long way! There are some many different types and styles there is surely one that will help you connect to light up your lawn, windows and rood.

A Note About Safety and Extension Cords

When purchasing outdoor Christmas extension cords, look for labels marked with UL or ETL. This means that the product has been tested by an independent laboratory recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Be sure the packaging states that it is designated for outdoor use. They should also be weatherproof and designed for use in harsh winter weather.

Purchase timers to automatically turn lights on and off. Lights should be turned off when people are not present and they should not be left on overnight.

Electrical outlets for exterior lighting should accommodate three-prong grounded plugs and should be on an electrical circuit protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

Electrical connections used for outdoor lights, use three-prong plugs. Never use an indoor cord or a one without the third prong. Plug it into a grounded outlet and select a cord with the shortest length that works for your project.

If they must cross walkways, tape them down.

When connecting outdoor lighting, be careful not to create a maze of extension cords, plugs and wires that all come from the same electrical outlet. Electrical outlets and timers used for Christmas lights should be readily accessible for quick disconnection.

One of the greatest dangers when installing outdoor lighting involves the use of ladders. Use a high-quality, sturdy ladder that is the proper height. Be sure it is securely positioned. To avoid falls, move the ladder as necessary rather than leaning on it from side to side.

Let's Start Outlining The Extension Cords

I have several 25 foot electrial cords that have 3 outlets on the end that I run from the outside outlets of my house into my yard. It brings the electric out to where you need it. Do not use inside outlets and close the window on the cord...big no no.

I also use 25 foot ones that have 3 two outlet that are spaced throughout the extension cord. Which makes it easier to space out my lawn ornaments. I love my Christmas extension cords and everyone in my home knows they are off limits. I store all my cords in a bin in my garage marked "Christmas Extension Cords". No one is allowed to touch them.

Let There Be Light

These are my favorite's that I use not only for Christmas but for any out side decorating. I just love them, makes it so easy to bring light onto your yard.

I use green extension cords as they can easily blend into landscape. They come in different colors and sizes, choose the one that best suits your needs. Make sure that any any one you use is made specifically for outdoor use.

Stake It And Time It

A great way to connect net lights in your garden is to use a multi outlet stake. You can easily connect your lights through the stake. The stake can plug directly into your outside outlet or through the multi-outlet extension cord. Most stakes come with waterproof covers which eliviate those plastic bags.

Most multi outlet stakes now come with timers or remotes that allow you to turn off your lights at night. Two in One....just makes your decorating that much easier.

Stake It And Time It

These stakes and timers are great for adding additional outlets in hard to reach places, such as behind your bushes. Timers are a must have, for me anyway. Some go on automatically and some use a timer and even a remote. I happen to like the remote it gives me control over my lighting.

So What's In Your Yard

By using these great extension cords, I'm able to have the brightest house on the block during Christmas. Every year I have to promise my dear husband that I won't buy any more Christmas lights or decorations! Somehow I always find one that I just have to have. Here's my list....6-6 foot Christmas Trees-I have spirals and twigs, just love the twigs, 2-4 foot Christmas Trees, 36 mini Christmas Trees, 4 Deer, 4 Pandas, 18 lighted Candy Canes, 16 lighted stake globes, 18 Presents and I know I'm leaving something out...And that's not including all the lights I put on the trees, bushes, fence and deck. My husband does the icicle lights on the house and has to leave before he has a melt down. Did I mention my electric bill???? The new LED lights are great...my mission is to replace all my lights with LED

..but then again I promised.

So What's In Your Yard?

What's In Your Yard?

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    • profile image

      melko1105 2 years ago

      use an outdoor nonpolarized extension cord to link lights separated by space

    • emailcash profile image

      emailcash 3 years ago

      Useful information that I will use when I set up my outdoor lights.

    • profile image

      BigDDDD 4 years ago

      Interesting and useful info

    • vsajewel profile image

      vsajewel 4 years ago

      Really helpful information...Thanx!

    • profile image

      gdwaller 5 years ago

      Good information. I appreciate the list of outdoor timers, especially the Stanley wireless remote model. I hadn't seen any info on it before.. I wired a separate circuit for my outside lighting with a switch hidden inside my entry closet. I use it to control my outside water features in the summer and my Christmas lights over the holidays.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I am definitely guilty of using indoor extension cords for our outdoor displays. I found a new product this year that you might want to consider for your list of holiday extension cords (www.elkord.com) - it connects one set of lights to another set with a non-polarized extension cord. I always would have a string of lights on the ground between bushes. I can't believe that something so simple wasn't available before. I guess the bigger issue is that they still make Christmas lights with non-polarized plugs - how archaic!

    • viscri8 profile image

      viscri8 5 years ago

      This is a very smart lens about something that probably many will be happy to find out online. Blessed!

    • profile image

      GraceKing 5 years ago

      Thanks, very useful information. If you add a part of how to choose or safely use extension cords.

    • garyrh1 profile image

      garyrh1 5 years ago

      Definitely be sure to get an outdoor grade extension cord. Regular extension cords can't stand getting wet may start a fire. Even if it doesn't rain, the dew from the grass or any metal can cause it to flare up. Also, if you are going to set up Christmas lights outside, make sure your lights are also outdoor grade. Not all of them are!

    • surgimesh lm profile image

      surgimesh lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing a great lens

    • profile image

      Sojourn 6 years ago

      I could totally relate to the outdoor light addiction! Other than the icicle lights (which my husband hangs, except for this year - his schedule was crazy so I did those, too) I'm in charge of all outdoor lights. The more I added, the more important it became to have a really good set of extension cords, timers, and connectors. One year, I skipped buying any new lights and decorations and spent the money on the cords and stuff just to build up my supply. Also, using one of those plastic storage containers JUST for all the cords and timers helps me find them more quickly each year. I don't do as well with the "taking down" part, though.... ;)

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      Thanks for the great tips. We keep white lights out in the garden year round, so it pays to do things the right (and safe) way.

    • eLightSpot LM profile image

      eLightSpot LM 6 years ago

      This is a great post. Extension cords can be dangerous in many ways and anything we can do to reduce the risk of danger and to make our outdoor Christmas lights displays look better is fantastic!

    • eLightSpot LM profile image

      eLightSpot LM 6 years ago

      This is a great post. Extension cords can be dangerous in many ways and anything we can do to reduce the risk of danger and to make our outdoor Christmas lights displays look better is fantastic!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Well done.