It’s almost Christmas again so it’s time to be heading into the loft or garage to retrieve all those outdoor Christmas lights that you’ve been getting together over the last few years. If covering your house in Christmas lights is your thing then you probably add more each and every year including this one.
Admittedly the recent improvements in LED lighting mean that the latest lights run on much lower power than they would have done even five years ago. But that doesn’t mean you can go on indefinitely adding more and more without stopping to consider how you are going to power them. If you just have a couple of small items then it is still possible to power them by running the cable through the letter box, preferably using an RCD adapter if your house doesn’t have one built into the circuit board. But if you are going for a serious display then it’s really time to invest in a double waterproof outdoor socket. Any competent electrician will be able to install one for you in a couple of hours and it will give you the opportunity to really go to town on the lights without worrying about overloading the system or having wires trailing through the house. If you feel that you don’t need a double opt for a single socket instead or if you want to go truly professional you could even fit an outdoor socket with a built in timer so you don’t even have to worry about turning your display on and off.
Even better of course would be to have your electrician install a separate consumer unit to feed the outdoor socket but that isn’t strictly necessary unless you are really decking the house out in a big way. Of course if you have a spare fuse in your existing consumer unit then you can run your outdoor socket from that.
Worth bearing in mind is that if you need to extend any cables, using a chocolate box type connector isn’t safe to use outdoors so go for a fully weatherproof connector for total safety.
But once Christmas is over the outdoor socket doesn’t become redundant as it can also be used for things such as lawnmowers and power washers. It might even be an additional selling point should you ever decide to sell your house so fitting one is a win win investment.