I have a 110 volt outlet on the exterior of my home. Can I plug my Christmas lights into it?

Yes. Within reason, if the quantity of lights creates a load greater than the capacity of the circuit breaker, the breaker will trip off. In this event, additional circuits may be required to accommodate your holiday display.

There are several factors determining what you can plug in – the type of Christmas lights, if you have anything else plugged into the outlet, and the amperage of the circuit.

To tell how many watts your circuit can handle, just multiply the the outlet voltage (110) by the amount of amps the circuit has. Most homes have 15-20 amp circuits. In this case, it would be between 1,650 and 2,200 watts.

We recommend not loading your circuits more than 80% capacity. To tell how much this is, just multiply the wattage by .8! This would make the safe amount between 1,320 and 1,760 watts.

This is where the type of Christmas lights comes into play – LED lighting uses much less wattage than traditional lighting so you would be able to string up much more. And, LED lights become more efficient the colder the temperature gets – which is a win-win in South Dakota!

If you’re still not sure how much your outlet can handle, just get in contact with us! We will be glad to help.