Electrical Wiring for Outdoor Christmas Lights
Steve in California asks; How can I control my Christmas lights from a switch? How to Wire a Switched Outlet to Control Your Christmas Lights, The basics for installing a switch controlled outlet for Christmas holiday lights.
Christmas Lights Controlled by a Switch
Electrical Question: How can I control my Christmas Lights from a Switch?
I Want to Control My Christmas Lights Using the Following Method:
- I want to install electrical wiring for a switched, end run GFI outlet so I can plug in some Christmas lights.
- There is an existing outlet 30′ away from where I want to install the switched outlet.
- The existing outlet controlled by a new single pole switch.
- The switched outlet to be protected for Ground Fault GFI.
How should this be wired?
This electrical question came from: Steve, a Homeowner from Anaheim, California.
Thanks for your electric wiring question Steve.
Electrical Wiring for Christmas Lights
Application: Switch Control for Christmas Lights.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Depending on the home circuit wiring for this application.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester and a fiberglass or non-metal ladder.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools and work from a ladder.
Precaution: Identify the circuit or power source, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
How to Wire a Switched Outlet to for your Christmas Lights
Control Christmas lights from a switch or use a wireless control, an easy to do project with parts that are available at most hardware stores.
Example: The Basics of Installing a Switch Controlled Outlet for Christmas Holiday Lights
- Select the outlet that will be used for the Christmas lights.
- Intercept the electrical circuit power at the existing outlet.
- Install a type-NM cable from the outlet to the desired switch location to create a switched loop.
- From the intercepted power location, the switched power is installed to the desired Christmas light outlet using approved wiring methods and ground fault protection.
- If the intercepted power location is outdoor, then a weather resistant GFCI Receptacle outlet should be installed. The following are some options to consider:
- Weather Resistant GFCI Receptacle.
- NOTE: Weather Resistant cover is required.
- Extension Cord sets with GFCI Protection.
- Weather Resistant GFCI Receptacle.
- For automated control for the lights, you may also consider installing a Wireless Remote Switch which could save you a lot of time and money.
- Another option for automatic light control would be to install a programmable time switch for automatic on and off control capability.
- Keep in mind that all of the outdoor wiring should be installed using approved weatherproof and rain tight materials for each specific device.
- The electrical materials to be installed must be designed according to electrical codes as they apply to your specific application.
- Electrical wiring for projects must be installed with a permit and be inspected according to your local building department.
- NOTE: Electrical wiring projects such as this are best installed by a licensed electrical contractor.
More about Home Electric Wiring for Christmas Lights
- Wiring Diagram GFI
- The features and benefits of GFCI outlets and receptacles will give you a clear understanding of the importance why these safety devices are required by code to help protect you and your family against accidental electrical shock hazards.
- Electrical Wire for the Home
- Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
For more information about GFCI Wiring
GFCI Wiring Outlets
- GFCI Wiring
- This list of articles will help you learn about the features and benefits provided by GFI and GFCI Receptacles and how they are wired.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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