Hanging outdoor Christmas lights can be an excellent way to beautify your yard for the holidays. If done incorrectly, however, it can also be a major hazard – outdoor lights that aren’t properly waterproof-ed can lead to anything from shorting outs, through electrocution, and to large fires spanning entire neighborhoods.
Fortunately, modern technology allows us to waterproof outdoor lights and guarantee 100% safety. So, how to waterproof outdoor Christmas lights? Here’s our step-by-step guide.
Waterproofing outdoor Christmas lights
There are multiple things you can do to protect your home and family here. The first and most obvious thing is answering the question “Are Christmas lights waterproof?” Getting Christmas lights that are approved for outdoor use guarantees quality and safety so only buy your lighting equipment from reputable vendors.
Even with waterproof outdoor Christmas lights, however, there’s still work to be done. Knowing how to waterproof Christmas lights connections, for example, is a huge part of the whole process. Here’s what you’d want to do:
- Make sure the extension cord you’ll be working with is not plugged into an outlet. Never work with live wires!
- Make sure the GFCI outlet is properly tested and functioning.
- Get the following items:
- One or more packs of rain block waterproof gaskets.
- One or more packs of seasonal lighting waterproof kits.
- A long contractor-rated extension cords of at least 15 amps.
- Your outdoor-rated waterproof Christmas lights.
- Multiple ground stakes to help you keep the extension cord and Christmas lights off the ground.
- So, now that you’ve got everything you need, let’s see how to keep outdoor Christmas lights from shorting out in the rain. Start by placing the rain block waterproof gaskets on the male connectors of the Christmas lights. Press them tightly to ensure a good lock. Make sure you close all outlets.
- Seal off the backs of the light plugs’ female outlets the same way.
- Plug the second string of Christmas lights into the first by applying gaskets to the male outlets as well. This way you can daisy chain as many Christmas light string together safely.
- Seal the end of the last Christmas light string by snapping off the third prong of the from the termination plug and then placing a gasket on it and pressing it firmly into the female connection.
- Make sure to hang the extension cord on a stake above ground and not leave it on the ground itself. Keep it upside down too with the outlets facing toward the ground. This will ensure that neither floods nor the falling rain will damage the outlet.
- As for how to protect outdoor Christmas lights from rain – put them on stakes or other elevated positions above ground as well. You can hang them on trees, bushes, on your fence, or on your yard furniture but make sure they are not just lying on the ground.
Lastly, even with all these precautions out of the way, your lights do short out after/during a rain, do NOT go out while the ground is still wet. If there’s a problem with the lights or the extension cords and you go out on the flooded or wet ground you’ll risk electrocution – wait for the ground to dry off first and then go out.
Still, if you’ve gone through the steps above properly, everything should be safe.