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#58232 - 11/03/05 05:37 AM Outdoor Xmas Lights  
Out Of Phase  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 19
Wiltshire, England
110v UL listed lights are rated safe for indoor and outdoor use but I am worried about how safe they actually are.
I want to put them in a hedge low down, but am worried that the hedge, when wet will become live as the bulb holders dont look that well sealed.

Any thoughts?

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#58233 - 11/03/05 07:12 AM Re: Outdoor Xmas Lights  
PCBelarge  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 681
Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
If you were to take a look around, I am sure you would see decorative lighting strung everywhere. Your concern is good to see, and as an EC your liability is always in the back of your mind. I would always go by gut instinct - sometimes losing a good job - but always sleeping well.

Your decision is really yours, as we cannot physically see these lights. If they are listed as outdoor rated, the hedge location could work, now you will have to make the final determination. Sorry this is not a pat answer, there are too many unseen variables for a yes or no answer.

Pierre Belarge

#58234 - 11/03/05 07:38 AM Re: Outdoor Xmas Lights  
Dnkldorf  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
nowhere usa
Wouldn't placing these on a GFI receptacle eliviate the concern of the hedges becoming hot?


#58235 - 11/03/05 05:01 PM Re: Outdoor Xmas Lights  
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
I think this is a far fetched idea. Install the lights and enjoy!

#58236 - 11/03/05 05:05 PM Re: Outdoor Xmas Lights  
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,223
SI,New Zealand
Hi there Out of Phase,
Welcome to ECN!. [Linked Image]
I reckon a GFI would take care of that problem, although nuisance tripping could be an issue.

#58237 - 11/03/05 05:51 PM Re: Outdoor Xmas Lights  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,885
Brick, NJ USA
IF you intend to 'plug-in' the light strings, then it should be in a GFI. If you are installing the outlets to 'plug-into' then they have to be GFI, and if applicable have a weatherproof-while-in-use cover.

IMHO, if I received the request (as an EC), I would make sure the strings were GFI protected.



#58238 - 11/03/05 05:57 PM Re: Outdoor Xmas Lights  
Out Of Phase  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 19
Wiltshire, England
Thanks for the replys boys!
I already plan to plug them into a GFCI & it is already installed.
What my concern was, is that on the first leg of the first bulb 110v is present and because its so wet during the winter here the first bulb could become live to touch when sopping wet, but I guess even at 110v the ligths are safe for outside use even in the wet otherwise they would not manufacture and they would not list them. The GFCI would only trip out if someone was to actually touch the bulb as I don't think the hedge would act as a good enough path to ground for the GFCI to operate.

#58239 - 11/03/05 08:31 PM Re: Outdoor Xmas Lights  
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
Many X-mas lights will have problems like described, i.e. allowing leakage current, or applying voltage to thing like shrubs with, or without a GFCI. With a GFCI you really can not bet on it to trip if a hazard presents itself. (I would not bet my life on it! In fact I have been shocked by some before in the rain, that were on a GFI.) Water, and electricity just don't mix well. If it is a liability issue, I would say no. Don't install the lighting. If it is a convieniance for some moron to do what they will do anyway, advise, and step back. Just because they are listed, or manufactured for the purpose, is NOT a guarantee of 100% safety. Personally, I would not operate, or handle them in the rain, or when wet. Like using the blow dryer in the shower or tub, just a bad idea, GFI or not. The fact that it has a GFI is only an added protection, NOT a guarantee of being safe from a darwin award. The hedge might not be a great conductor, but a small child touching it could be. Just my 2 cents.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#58240 - 11/03/05 09:30 PM Re: Outdoor Xmas Lights  
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
Guys seriously, there are a bazillion (I just counted) Holiday lights (Don't want to offend) in use all over the country. No big deal.

#58241 - 11/03/05 11:10 PM Re: Outdoor Xmas Lights  
Jps1006  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 615
Northern IL
I thought the bulbs wired in series reduced the voltage at each bulb to 1-2V. Isn't this what makes them safe?

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