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How to Use Extension Cords for Outside Christmas Lights?

Writen by Edwin Jones

Fact checked by Andrew Wright

how to use extension cords for outside christmas lights

During the holiday season, we place various decorative lights outside our homes to celebrate the Christmas spirit. When setting up these fixtures, it is common to use an extension cord to supply them with power.

When we use cables outside, leaving them hanging or carelessly scattered is both unsafe and unpleasant to see.

To avoid this problem, here are some tricks on how to use extension cords for outside Christmas lights.

Ways to Connect Outdoor Christmas Lights With Extension Cords

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If you want to set up extension cords for outdoor string lights without the risks of electrical hazards, here are some tips to practice.

  • Note: Using a 2 prong outdoor extension cord for Christmas lights outside is not safe. The reason is it has no grounding wire, which is necessary to enjoy the feature of a GFCI outlet.

1. Run Cord Along Downspout

If you plan to install Christmas lights on your gutter or the sidings of your roof, you might decide to hang your extension cord from above. However, this makes your cable unsafe and also ruins the aesthetics of your house.

Typically, every downspout is placed in the corner of your outside wall, making it a perfect place for running an extension cord.

Follow the guide below to set up your cable along this pipe.

Tools Needed

  • Cord clip for keeping the cord organized
  • Ceiling hook for holding the female end of the extension cord

Step 1. Install the Clip and Hook

  • Most outdoor extension cords are heavy, so you might need a hook to hold them. You can install said hook near your Christmas light plug at the bottom of your siding to easily power the bulbs.
  • Next, stick one cord clip to the top side of your downspout and another at its bottom.
  • You can add another in the middle if you want the cable to be more steady.
  • Use a hook, cord straps and cable ties as an alternative for the cord clip.

Step 2. Place your Extension Cord

Once you finish installing the cord clip and hook, you can start placing your extension cord into it.

Afterwards, plug the cord to test your lighting and see if everything is okay.

2. Run Through Path Walk

An outdoor extension cord with multiple outlets is suitable for powering up bulbs in the bush and trees. And to use this cord, you can run it through the side of your path walk.

While the cable is lying on the side of your pathway, you can use some small plant to hide it, so it will not become a tripping hazard.

Pro Tips:

  • You can use a short extension cord between Christmas lights if you need additional lighting for another roof or bush. Just ensure that your lighting load will not exceed the load of both your extension cord and outdoor outlet.
  • Aside from a waterproof outdoor cable, it is also good to use a weatherproof cover or box for concealing electrical connections.

This item will ensure that no water can enter the lighting plug and cord outlet, which would result in electrical problems.

What Gauge Extension Cord for Christmas Lights

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When picking an extension cord to use for outdoor Christmas lights, go for a 16 gauge size if you need it within 25 feet. It can hold multiple string lights that have a total current rating of 10 amps. 

However, using a heavy-duty 14 gauge power strip is much safer if the light is more than 25 feet away from your GFCI outlet. This wire size can carry the same load as the typical household outlet, which is 15 amps. 

Conclusion

To keep your outdoors clean and free from electrical hazards, you should run extension cords for Christmas lights in a proper way.

It’s fun to decorate houses together with our family. However, if you think lighting decoration is a bit complicated, you can always call a contractor to do the job safely.

Are the tricks above on how to use extension cords for outside Christmas lights helpful to you? Do you know someone who needs to see this article? If yes, you can pass it on to them.

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