Tips To Ensure Outdoor Lighting Safety

22 August 2022

Measures to follow in order to ensure safety when using outdoor lighting.  

The majority of us own and have the responsibility for the lighting outside our homes. Examples include security lights and porch lights. When it comes to holiday decoration, a lot of individuals also want to use outdoor lighting—some at Halloween and far more at Christmas.

A common misconception concerning lighting and electrical connections is that a temporary system may be put in place without any consideration for whether it is actually safe or “up to code” or not. That is untrue. Temporary lighting and electrical connections can be more dangerous than permanent installations since they are not permanent. In addition to the general rules, the National Electrical Code also specifies additional criteria for temporary installations.

The most important advice is to make it safe. Of course, abide by the advice provided here, and never forget that safety comes first. Make your outdoor lighting setup appear and work the way you want it to by following these steps.

Fixtures Rated for Outdoor Use

If you’re adding a lighting fixture outside, it needs to be made specifically for that location. For two simple examples, a light that is placed under the porch roof of your home but never gets wet requires it also to be rated for damp environments or to have the word “outdoor” on it because it will still become damp, chilly, and hot. And that must be able to withstand it.

A wall fixture that is placed close to your door but has no roof over it needs to be rated higher. You’re looking for phrases like “ideal for damp regions,” “weatherproof,” and “weather resistant.”

Use Light Bulbs Rated for Outdoor Use

Most of us consider this in an exposed fixture, such an outdoor flood light. But doing the same with your porch light will benefit you in terms of the lifespan of the bulb and ease of replacement. Check the small print on some appliance lights if you can’t find a conventional bulb that is approved for outdoor usage. It is likely that if it can endure outdoors if it can endure in a freezer or an oven.

Extension Cords Rated for Outdoors

Indoor extension cords are designed often as often thin and flexible, making it simple to manoeuvre them out of the way. Furthermore, they are undoubtedly not designed to withstand being wet. For any temporary lights you’re attaching outside your home, only purchase and use extension cords that are rated for outside use.

Use Decorative Lighting Designed for Outdoor Use

Use only decorations that are designed to go there if you want to hang some lighting holiday décor from your porch railing or eaves. It should be labeled “indoor,” “indoor/outdoor,” or “outdoor.” Keep the items with “indoor” on them indoors. Any of the other two are designed to be carried outside.

Put in Weather-Resistant Outlets

Instead of sending a cord out through a door or window from one of the sockets inside your home, you should always plug temporary outside loads into outdoor outlets, and preferably those sockets are weather-resistant. Older homes may not, however, have weather-resistant outlets, but they probably have weatherproof covers. This is because weather-resistant outlets weren’t mandated until recently.

Even though they will have specialised outside covers over them, they themselves must be able to withstand heat, cold, and moisture without breaking down. They must have a rating for weather resistance.

Implement GFCI Protection

One of the most significant advancements in electrical safety during the past 40 years has been the development of GFCI protection or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. Kitchens, bathrooms, garages, laundry rooms, attics, crawl spaces, outdoor outlets, and unfinished basements should all have GFCI outlets installed. Wherever you might be grounded while plugging in something requires it. And it unquestionably applies to when you’re outside in the yard.

You can install a typical weather-resistant receptacle in the outside box if the wiring that feeds your outdoor outlet has GFCI protection from a circuit breaker or some other GFCI device upstream. If it doesn’t, though, you must put a GFCI outlet there. (One that is impervious to weather, of course).

Install Cover for Damp Areas Under the Roof.

If you have an outdoor socket on your porch, screened-in patio, or in another location that is shielded from the elements, you can cover it with a door cover that will shut and keep it safe when nothing is plugged into it. At that point, it is safe to plug something into the socket and leave it there for a few days. The label “Suitable For Damp Locations” will be on these covers.

Construct a Cover for Wet Areas in the Open by Installing

Your outdoor receptacle must have a cover known as an “in-use” cover over it if it isn’t protected by a roof or another covering. These covers, as their name suggests, will keep the plug and outlet dry even in the rain.

Holiday Lights Can Be Attached Using Non-Metallic Non-Binding Materials

When securing decorations and temporary lighting strings, exercise caution. Avoid using any with metal in it and refrain from using anything that could harm the wires. Metal is an electrical conductor. For this task, plastic cable ties are a well-liked and affordable option.

We hope this post has been helpful in keeping you and your household safe whilst being able to enjoy your outdoor lighting!