When it comes down to it, there is very little separating indoor from outdoor christmas lights. After all, they look the same, they feature the same colours, and both have ranges in led and incandescent bulbs. Even their respective designs, whether curtain lights, string lights or icicle lights, they are available for both outdoor and indoor use. The only difference, it would seem, is the cost.
However, it would be a huge mistake to consider these two types of christmas lights as being the same, and opt for less costly indoor lights with the intention of using them outside. There are, in fact, very definite reasons why outdoor lights are titled as such, and why indoor lights are marked clearly as suitable only for indoor use.
The particular light features, whether they be multi coloured, flashing christmas lights or simply straight forward mono coloured lights, matter very little. What is important is the safety certificate that the particular lights have, and for both indoor and outdoor lighting options, safety is hugely important.
Certified for Outdoor Use
It is surprising just how many people reckon that indoor lights can be used perfectly well outdoors, despite the fact that they would be pitted against the effects of the winter weather, with rain, sleet, snow, ice and general freezing temperatures.
Anything electrical left outside in such weather cannot be expected to last very long, as the wiring contacts can be affected by moisture and temperature fluctuations. General wear and tear, especially in blustery conditions, can also lead to abrasions and chinks, and even bulbs shaking loose or being smashed against branches or walls.
Lights that have been made specifically for the outdoors are significantly more durable and can, therefore, handle the adverse weather conditions much more effectively. They are double insulated for extra protection, making sure to keep moisture and cold out, while those that are battery operated are also secured with greater insulation.
However, while all of these points underline the greater level of durability for outdoor lights, the safety issue is that damaged lights that have live electrical currents running through them, have a very great chance of sparking and causing a fire, or even causing someone to suffer electrocution. At the very least, they may short and cause the electrical supply to be lost.
Certified Indoor Use Only
Lights that are certified for indoor use only are generally understood not to have the required insulation to be able to safely withstand the elements outside. This means that the lights themselves are more fragile, and due care should be taken when handling them.
Despite the fact that there is little in the way of moisture and freezing issues to consider, there are other temperature concerns that one should keep an eye out for. For example, if the lights are incandescent lights, then the bulbs themselves will increase quite dramatically in temperature, thereby increasing the risk of fire. It is important, therefore, to keep flammable items at a distance.
However, it is also worth noting that outdoor lights, despite their greater durability, are not always ideal for use indoors. Lights certified for indoor use are lights that do not emit too much heat when left on for a prolonged period of time, thereby drastically reducing the risk of fire. Outdoor lights, however, do not need to meet the same criteria and the heat they emit is still considered hazardous.
Of course, safety is something that should be considered with all decorations, regardless of whether to not electrical items are involved. This can include paper decorations being placed too close to radiators or hanging too close to an open fire. They should even include the care that ought to be take when putting decorations up, such as the strength of chairs and tables when trying to gain extra height.
Christmas decorations are an important part of any Christmas celebration, bringing colour and fun to proceedings. An essential aspect of those decorations are christmas lights, whether simply placed around the tree in the living room to brighten the occasion inside, or extended to the use of outdoor christmas lights illuminating the home for passers by to admire.
An extra feature is the flashing christmas lights option, drawing attention with an array of display sequences that can keep neighbours entertained for hours. However, no matter what the choices made, safety is an everpresent factor that should not be ignored.