To avoid power surges or electrical accidents during the upcoming Christmas and the New Year holidays, before lighting your home, business or office, make sure you have a safe electrical connection.
Having certified lights is also important because they have been tested by a laboratory external to the manufacturer, in order to validate their quality. If the result of this evaluation is satisfactory, the user can rest assured that they are purchasing a safe luminaire and can avoid a short circuit.
To ensure that the Christmas light extensions are certified, it is important that, when buying a box, you locate the logo of one of the following certifying entities: UL, CE, NOM, ANCE, CIDET, INTECO, TüV or AENOR.
Electrical safety depends mainly complying with the recommendations
Electrical engineer Jennifer Rodríguez, research and development leader for Prysmian Group Central America and the Caribbean, explained: “Electrical safety at Christmas time depends largely on the purchase of certified lights, but also on their correct use, mainly complying with the recommendations. from the manufacturer regarding its connection. This will allow you to enjoy the holidays with peace of mind and avoid incidents that compromise human lives”.
She added that typically, a maximum of three series of incandescent lights is allowed to be connected, unless otherwise directed by the manufacturer. “In the case of led luminaires, if the packaging does not refer to this issue, the same rule for incandescent connection should be applied. For this reason, it is vitally important to look in the box of each set for the recommendation on how many series can be joined”, emphasized Rodríguez.Also, recommending checking that the plug of the Christmas series does not bend or break easily.
Power Strips should not be used to connect Christmas lights
According to the expert, using power strips to connect Christmas lights is not recommended. “It is usually saturated with connections, due to a matter of habit or lack of information, but the ideal is to connect the luminaire directly to the electrical outlet. The power strip could only be used in case the Christmas series does not reach the connection point, however, avoid overloading it. With a 60% occupancy is enough”, she said.
As for how long it is recommended to have the lights on, the advice is not to exceed five hours of continuous use. The Costa Rican Electrical Code establishes a maximum of 90 days to maintain temporary electrical installations for the purpose of decorative lighting, that is, products such as Christmas lights that must be used only for certain periods of time and not permanently.
“If you are going to use extensions from previous years, do a visual inspection. Look for loose wires, bulges, discoloration, or breaks in the conductor. When placing the lights, use plastic supports so as not to damage the extension cable”, said Rodríguez.
To find out if the electrical connection of the house supports an overload of lights, Rodríguez said that people must be sure that their houses can withstand a light overload if the luminaires are for the tree only, but if 100% of the house is to be illuminated, professional electrical advice should be sought. “The fact that the lights turn on does not imply that they are well connected,” she concluded.