ask the electrician
Electrician Training Electrical Certification wiring recessed light fixtures Electrical Wiring Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs wire outdoor light fixture Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams
wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet Wiring and Installing Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
Electrical Wire and Cable

Electrical Wiring for Outdoor Christmas Lights

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.

Home Electrical Wiring Video

Hooking Up a Generator to the House Panel
Using a Circuit Breaker Interlock Kit
for Backup Power

NOTE: A List of All my Helpful Videos
Will Display at the End of This Video
So Keep Watching So I Can Help You Wire it Right!

Check out my YouTube Channel:
» AskTheElectrician «
and Subscribe!

Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my online Video Course:
Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

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:

How should this be wired?

This electrical question came from: Steve, a Homeowner from Anaheim, California.

Dave’s Reply:
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

More about Home Electric Wiring for Christmas Lights

Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1

Wiring GFCI Outlets

Electrical Wire

For more information about GFCI Wiring
GFCI Wiring Outlets
GFCI Wiring

The following may also be helpful for you:

Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book
Great for any Home Wiring Project.
  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my Online Video Course:
Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

More articles about Christmas Holiday Lighting, Christmas Lights, Electrical and Home Electrical Wiring:
« Previous Next »
Tips for Outdoor Christmas Lighting Timer Control for Outdoor Christmas Lights

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

6 Responses to “Electrical Wiring for Outdoor Christmas Lights”
  1. jack kelly says:

    Dave, For Christmas light connections I’m thinking about a box of some sort to put extension cord junctions to keep it dry during rain and snowfall. Is there something on the market like this? Thanks

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Jack, that’s a great idea. The only products that I have seen would be a stationary extension cord reel similar to a garden hose reel and a cord bucket. Both of these were open buy I suppose the bucket could have the cover put in place. It would be great to make something similar to a small dog house where the roof would have a hinge on one side and so you could access the cords on the inside.

  3. mike johnson says:

    I have a hanging Christmas “angel ” with 10 small lights which has two, 1 amp fuses in the plug. I can’t find any fuses to fit this old fixture. Can I cut the fixture plug off and splice the fixture wires to a Christmas tree plug that has 2, 3 amp fuses in it and the fixture work safely?

  4. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Mike,
    If the Christmas tree plug is for existing lights or decorations then by adding the angel lights may cause the 3amp fuses to blow out. The fuses are rated for the specific product to protect the wiring from overheating and creating a potential fire hazard. The concern here is to maintain the original fuse protection for each component and not alter the original design. So in theory, your idea would work, however it may create a safety issue as described.
    Have a Merry Christmas and Be Safe,

  5. Julie says:

    We are wanting to install white Christmas lights on a tree in the middle of the yard year-round. We really don’t want an extension cord lying across our lawn all the time. We have low-voltage landscape lights and wiring to the planting bed where the tree to be lighted is. Is there such a thing as being able to tie into the low voltage landscape wiring with a low voltage Christmas light strand?


  6. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Julie,
    If the Christmas Lights are the standard type with a 120 volt plug, then you will need 120 volt power from a GFCI outlet. Low voltage landscape lights are very different, so connecting to low voltage is not an option, however connecting to the 120volt power source which feeds the low voltage lights would be OK.
    Be Safe,