Pro Tip: Keeping Clean and Dry

Professional grade lights tested in water

Professional grade lights tested in water

Whether you are hanging patio lights, decorating for a celebration or thinking about the holidays, here are some tips to help keep your lights shining. We use several techniques to keep our installations neat and to avoid damage and safety issues from moisture getting into the lights and cords. Here are a few "dos" and "don'ts" for you to keep in mind:

Do inspect all light sets for wear and replace any that are damaged. 

Do keep any connections between strings and extension cords off of the ground and away from sitting in water. In the summer you need to avoid the rain but remember how high that snow gets during our CNY winters! 

Don't go crazy with the electrical tape. It may seem like a good idea to wrap all of the connections up tightly but this will actually create a greenhouse effect with moisture building up inside. 

Do use a little bit of tape going from around the back of one plug and then over and around the back of the connecting plug just to keep them tethered together. Don't seal up the seem. Good quality light strings are made to plug in snugly and keep moisture from building up.

Don't wrap too tightly. If you are doing a trunk or branch-wrapping technique that you intend to leave up for more than a few weeks you will need to be sure there is room for the trees to grow. This is a balancing act because you'll want a snug wrap to look great but still need a little wiggle room.

Do consider getting a bunch of those baby-proof outlet covers to use on any exposed female plugs. This helps with dust and dirt too. 

Don't leave cords loosely hanging around where they can be tripped over and accidentally yanked on. Beside the safety aspect, this just looks sloppy and you'll want to see the twinkling lights, not messy wires.  We often cut our own extension cords to just the right length but you should try to purchase cords that come closest to the required size.

Do use zip ties to keep everything tidy.

Dont over-tighten zip ties or you can damage the cords. 

Do understand that all light strings are not equal. The cheaper they are the lower the performance and safety quality. Target or Home Depot lights are riddled with seems where moisture can get in. Our strings are sealed so no seems. We will go into more details about the other differences in another post but like anything else, you get what you pay for.

Would you like more information on our products or a free estimate for a professional installation? Call us at (315) 727-8188 or send an email to info@shinecny.com.