Are outdoor festoon lights safe? If you are having second thoughts about hanging festoon lights outside your home, this article will help shed some light.
Is It Safe to Put Festoon Lights Outside?
Outdoor festoon lights are an extremely safe decorative lighting solution. However, it’s worth noting that not all festoon lights are created equal. The safety of outdoor festoon lights rests on the type of IP rating of the system, the rated max load, and the voltage of system. So to ensure the safety of your LED installation, it’s best to keep these three factors in mind when selecting and installing your lights.
Incandescent festoon light bulbs’ filament heats up to a maximum temperature of 216°C (420°F) within 3 minutes of use, while the outer glass reaches 134°C (273°F). In contrast, LED festoon lights heat up to 32°C (89°F) after 3 minutes of operation. As such, incandescent festoon lights are a potential fire hazard if placed near flammable objects, while LED festoon lights are much safer.
Even so, important to note LED festoon lights with overloaded fixtures and improper wiring are also a fire hazard. That’s why you should ensure you use compatible fixtures when replacing your festoon lights and follow LED manufacturers’ specifications when installing your lights. In addition, make sure that your festoon light bulbs don’t exceed the recommended wattage usage indicated on their packaging to prevent an overload in your lights’ circuit. But, most importantly, you need to occasionally hire a festoon light expert to inspect your festoon lights and improve their safety.
How Long Can LED Festoon Lights Stay On Safely?
Ideally, if your LED festoon lights are using the proper wattage and are installed correctly, you can leave the fixture switched on 24/7. The good thing with LED festoon lights is that they don‘t deteriorate when you switch them on and off but only deteriorate from changing temperatures. So, if you efficiently manage the heat factors, your LED festoon lights are not a fire hazard.
Still, it’s advisable to use time sensors to manage your fixtures if you intend to leave them switched on for a long time to increase their lifespan. More so, use motion sensors for your outdoor LED festoon lights instead of leaving them switched on overnight to save on your utility bills. Preferably, you should leave your LED festoon lights on for at most 12 hours to save on your electricity costs.
How to Increase Your Festoon Lights’ Safety?
Increasing the safety of your festoon lights is ideal if you want to keep the illumination of your residential or commercial spaces intact. Although LED festoon lights are a safe lighting option, it’s critical to take necessary safety measures to ensure everything runs effortlessly.
Here are the five most effective safety tips that you can use to increase the safety of your festoon lights:
1. IP44 Waterproof Rating
To ensure your festoon lights are safe for outdoor conditions, first and foremost you must identify the IP rating of the system (if it has one at all). The Ingress Protection rating is a measure of how well protected the system is from water and dust from making their way into the circuitry. IP44 is the industry standard for waterproof lighting, without this rating, you’re asking for trouble and the next sign of wet weather may be the last time your lights work properly. Too much wet weather or water for that matter, combined with a live electrical circuit can pose a serious danger to anyone in the vicinity.
2. Use Low Voltage Equipment
Using a safe low voltage festoon lighting system is one of the easiest ways to ensure you’ve got a worry-free installation. By using a 12v or 24v LED driver the electricity running through the system can be brought down to safe to work with levels (240v vs 24v). This extra low 24v power is low enough that anyone can work with this equipment (qualified or not) as there are no safety concerns if you happen to touch a live socket.
3. Use the right Extension Cords
Festoon lights’ extension cords come indoor or outdoor rated depending on their specifications and intended use. For instance, indoor-rated extension cords are usually light and flexible to make them easy to keep out of the way. In contrast, outdoor-rated extension cords are durable to withstand harsh weather conditions. Using your festoon lights’ extension cords for anything other than their intended use can lead to serious safety hazards. Avoid using extension cords that have dents, wear, and tear.
LED festoon lights are undoubtedly the safest outdoor lighting option that you can install to light up your space, provided they are installed correctly. Even so, overheating due to overloads and poor wiring is a common occurrence, so take extra safety precautions. Our outdoor LED festoon lights are not only safe to run overnight but offer the best indoor illumination, which, in turn, increase the aesthetic appeal of your residential or commercial spaces.