Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Christmas Lights

Brick cottage with beautifully bright Christmas lights

Christmas lights wrapped around tree branches will bring your commercial property’s landscape features to life after dark during the holidays. Decorative lights illuminate show-stopping Christmas trees, and they add a twinkle to structures like pergolas. But there are some “strings attached,” if you will. You can choose the wrong Christmas lights for outdoors and cause property damage or injury, which is obviously not the intent of a joyous seasonal display.

There is a difference between indoor and outdoor Christmas lights. And, if indoor Christmas lights are installed in an outdoor holiday display, you could end up with some major safety issues, along with hassles like a voided warranty or reduced life of lights.

Here’s what you need to know about Christmas lights, indoor vs. outdoor.

How to Tell if Christmas Lights are for Indoor or Outdoor Use

Inside of home with decorated stairs that lead up to second floor

Christmas lights are tagged by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which inspects U.S.-made electrical products to be sure they are safe and will not cause shock or a fire. Avoid Christmas lights that do not have a tag. A green UL tag is for indoor use. A UL tag that is red or silver indicates the lights are safe for outdoor use.

At Neave Décor, we only use commercial-grade lighting that is rated for outdoor use, so Christmas lights are weather-ready to deal with harsh winter conditions in the Northeast.

Also, we know property owners expect their holiday displays to last not just for the season—but for years to come. That’s why we provide storage for lights and other holiday decor, which can be re-used because they are rugged, high-quality products.

What Makes the Best Outdoor Christmas Lights?

LED Christmas lights use less electricity than incandescent lighting and are more efficient for outdoor use. With LED outdoor Christmas lights, you reduce the risk of overloading a circuit. Outdoor LED Christmas lights can last up to 50,000 hours—and you have the option of choosing color-changing holiday lights that can be programmed to show off special effects. We also like that LED lights emit less heat and are cooler to the touch, which enhances safety for guests on your commercial property. Not to mention, commercial outdoor Christmas lights come on reels that prevent professional installers from having to piece together numerous strands of lights to complete a display, such as wrapping a tree.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission identifies “readily observable characteristics” for seasonal and decorative lighting products based on UL requirements. Those are: wire size, plugs, lamp holders and over-current protection. If the outdoor light is rated by the UL for outdoor use, all of these components will be up to grade and, ultimately, sturdier than lights only designed for indoor use.

Can You Use Outdoor Lights Inside? 

Of course! At Neave Décor, our professional holiday decoration installers use outdoor Christmas lights for all displays, including indoor and outdoor Christmas tree lighting and features. By using the same lighting, we don’t have to worry about accidentally stringing lights designed for interior displays on trees outdoors. Also we know that LED outdoor lights will be longer-lasting indoors because of their sturdy nature. So, it’s a win-win for our clients.

Stress Less & Shine More this Holiday 

Avoid the hassle of dealing with strings of outdoor and indoor Christmas lights and let us handle the details. Neave Décor assists with design, installation, maintenance and take-down services.

Learn more by calling us at 845-463-0592 in Hudson Valley, 914-271-7996 in Westchester, 203-212-4800 in Connecticut and 212-368-9954 in New York City. Or, fill out this contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.

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