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Can your electric panel handle all of your Christmas lights?

Well, it's that time of year again. To go with the fully animatronic Santa and reindeers on the roof, or not? Can your electric panel handle all of your Christmas lights?Lots of homeowners worry that they'll pull a classic Clark Griswold move of shutting down the entire town's electrical grid. That's not a real concern, though there certainly is the risk of creating a possible fire hazard or popping some breakers. So, how can you avoid creating an electrical overload and still have the best lights on the block? Read on:

Avoid circuit overload by knowing how powerful your lights are. Most lighting circuits (which typically include outlets) are 15-amp. The basic rule of thumb is to avoid going over 80% of what a circuit can safely handle (no more than 12 amps on a 15-amp circuit). To find out how powerful your lights are, check the packaging that you bought them in. If you no longer have the package, check the tag on the light cord. If the wattage is listed, divide that number by 120. This will give you your amperage. For example, if your light string is 250 watts, your amperage draw is 2.08 amps (250 watts divided by 120 = 2.08). Safely, you could get by with six of these on a single circuit - or go down to five for an even safer bet. Remember, though, that this is only the total for the Christmas lights. If you have other things running on the same circuit, there is less power available for your lights. Identify which outlets are using which circuits by turning off one breaker at a time then checking each outlet. Any outlet without power is on the circuit you turned off.

Switch to LED lights. Because they are about 75% more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, switching to LEDs lowers your electrical load by seven times, therefore lowering your electric bill. Check out the Energy Star website for a list of qualified products that meet minimum standards for energy efficiency. While you'll pay a little more upfront for LEDs, they last a lot longer, so the quality is worth the price.

As always the experts at John's Electric are standing by, ready to help with all of your electrical needs. We hope you have a magical and merry Christmas.

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About John's Electric

Linn Park Fountain, Birmingham, AL

John's Electric Inc. is a family owned and operated electrical contractor business that proudly provides electrician services in Birmingham, AL and the surrounding areas such as Hoover, Homewood, Chelsea, Vestavia Hills, Pelham, Alabaster, Trussville, and Mountain Brook. John's Electric provides residential and commercial electrical solutions at competitive rates. We have been in this line of work for 30 years, giving us not only experience but expertise as well. You can depend on us. We are a state licensed electrician (#03875) for your protection.

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What others say about John's Electric Service

Aubrey did a great job for us today. He is an asset to your company!

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Aubrey was here less than half an hour after I called, had the problem identified within 5 minutes and had the problem solved within 15 minutes. He was friendly and professional.

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