Category Archives: Holiday Lighting

Should I buy LED or Incandescent Christmas Lights?

If you’ve been decorating for the holidays as long as we have, you might still be wondering if it is worth the money to update to LED lights. The initial cost can be a bit daunting on the budget, and change comes slowly for most.

While a beautiful display of Christmas lights can be created at anyone’s home with either type of lights, here’s a few things to consider.

What do you get for the higher LED price tag?

LED lights are more durable. They are plastic which makes them easier for storage … and it will seem like they never burn out! They may get dimmer with age, but as we know, nothing lasts forever without losing a step here and there. LED will last up to 50,000 hours compared to incandescent’s approx. 1000 hours of light.

LED lights are cool to the touch. That makes them, not only safer to use to decorate with, but Flourescent lights use up to 90% of their expended energy on heat that is both wasted and unwanted near our home’s holiday cheer. LED lights are going to save you up to 80% on your energy cost by not creating heat … only beautiful holiday brilliance.

LED light options are constantly changing and expanding. New styles come out every year to constantly awe and amaze us. While LED lights will have a higher price tag than their less expensive fluorescent counterparts, they will prove their worthiness over time. If you plan on decorating year after year, LED will be worth the investment.

Douthit Electrical has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need help with your electrical service or installation, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!

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Tips to Help Prevent Holiday Electrical Problems

OverloadOh, how we love to make our homes beautiful for the holidays! Our lawns become a wonder for cars passing by and our Charlotte homes become a showcase of holiday spirit for visiting guests. But most do not stop and consider how much extra power they are running through their outlets at this time of year.

Here are a few safety tips to consider when decorating.

Now that you’ve gotten all those decorations out of storage, take the time to inspect all the wires. We tend to reuse decorations from year to year without giving enough thought to the age of most of them. Those that need electric should be given extra attention for safety, while the others are usually keepsakes that we treasure even more over time.

As you dispose of old tattered incandescent lights, consider replacing them with low wattage LED lights. They produce less heat and require less energy, a win-win.

Remember to keep all those wires away from heat sources. The insulation on those wires is there for a reason. Don’t take the chance of any of it melting and exposing the wire.

You might be tempted to keep attaching those strings of light together, so that you can plug them all into one outlet. Don’t do it! That is just too much to ask from one single outlet of your house to withstand. Try to spread the power you need over several circuits whenever possible.

Carrying on the live tree tradition in your home? Make sure to keep that tree watered! Some decorations put off more heat than others, and you don’t want to take a chance with a tree that is dehydrated and begging for water.

Lastly, turn off and unplug all those decorations before going to sleep. You’ll be keeping your home safer and save a few dollars at the same time.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need help with your electrical service or installation this holiday, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!

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How to Make Your Outdoor Decorating Easier Next Year in Charlotte

OverloadOh no! It’s time to put all those beautiful decorations away! There are so many storage possibilities and gadgets to try to make the process go more smoothly now. Here is just one website you can check out:

Common sense will also prevail to make the process go easier. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Before recycling all that packaging material that came with those presents, consider if any of it can be used to wrap fragile ornaments in.
  • If any strands of lights are not working, don’t put off until next year what should be decided today. Now is the time to either fix them or trash them. Do you have essential decorations that need to be replaced for next holiday season? Seasonal sales might have just what you are looking for at a much lower price.
  • Label boxes or consider clear bins for storage. You know what items are used first, store them last for easier access next year.

Few of us like taking the time to pack away decorations correctly. Just remember that you will have so much more holiday cheer when you can reap the reward from your labor next holiday season.

Lastly, were you held back from decorating by the lack of electrical outlets available or outdoor lighting safety? Now is the time to consider doing some upgrades to increase the potential for lighting next year … and also your year-round lighting options. Everything from landscape lighting to flood lights to preparing for next year’s holiday spectacular … Douthit Electrical can help!

Douthit Electrical has been helping the residents of Charlotte and surrounding areas with their electrical upgrades since 1990. Check out our money saving coupons and then give us a call for prompt courteous service.

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Outdoor Holiday Lighting Choices for your Charlotte Home

What a beautiful time of year this can be! If you’re considering making your Charlotte home a holiday wonderland, have you decided which lighting is the right one for you?

There are so many types of lighting now to choose from.  Here’s just a few decisions you should make before going on that lighting shopping trip:

1. LED or incandescent? Incandescent lights are cheaper, but LED lights will last longer and are much more energy efficient.

2. Bulbs come in so many shapes and sizes. There is no right or wrong answer, but consider where you will be attaching your lights before you go shopping. Will you be attaching to the house, decorating the bushes, lighting up trees? You can have bulbs, net lights, rope lights, oversized ornaments, and the list goes on and on.

3. Do you have everything you need to install the lights correctly? Do you have a power source to turn all those lights on?

We can never stress the importance of GFCI Installation enough. Douthit Electrical can help you decide if you need an upgrade. Don’t let all that work go to waste. Ensure that your Charlotte home is safe and that your home is a joy to behold.

Call the experts at Douthit Electrical to make sure your home is ready for holiday lights! Make sure to check out our money-saving coupons when you call. We’d love to help keep your home lit for the holidays!

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3 Scary, Spooky, and Simple Ideas for Safe Charlotte Outdoor Lighting This Halloween

The fear is here at Douthit Electrical this Halloween season!

Pumpkin Lights HangingIt may be hard to believe but it’s already that time of year again. With Halloween right around the corner it’s time to get ready for goblins, ghouls, and all kinds of scary stuff. There’s no better way to get into the spooky spirit of the season than by creating your very own haunted house, complete with hanging lights and the appropriate lawn decorations. But the only thing scarier than a monster is a Halloween-related injury or poorly installed outdoor lighting.

According to a study published in the 2010 journal Pediatrics, Halloween ranked fourth among holidays with the highest number of injuries resulting in emergency room visits, with the most common being leg injuries as a result of trips and falls. As common as these injuries are, there are simple measures you can take ensure your homemade haunted house is both safe and fun for your family and trick or treaters alike. Our team of professional Charlotte electricians’ and lighting designers are happy to help bring your Halloween lighting ideas back from the dead!

Here are three easy ways to safely and boo-tifully light up your home for Halloween.

Zip it up

Perhaps the easiest and most inexpensive way to prevent injuries caused by hanging string lights is to use zip ties. They can be used to keep lights out of the way by securing them to banisters, deck railings, fences, and even tree branches. Unlike nails, they require seconds to attach and don’t leave any surface damage behind. For an extra measure of safety and security, consider installing a security lighting system. They’re excellent way to keep your home trick-or-treaters safe while keeping ghouls at bay!

Tape it down

General extension and power cord safety is a must for Charlotte Halloween lighting. Be sure to keep extension and power cords off of hallways, sidewalks, paths, and other high-traffic areas. In cases where this is unavoidable, it’s best to duct tape your cords to the surface to keep them out of the way. This greatly reduces the chances that someone will trip or fall. Ensure that your extension and power cords are in good in condition and only use cords designed to carry the electrical load you need. Never use extension or power cords meant for use indoors outside. You can’t go wrong by sticking to decorative lighting and cords that have been approved and tested for safety by reputable laboratories such the Underwriters Laboratory (UL).

Leverage your outdoor outlets

It’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket and you shouldn’t plug all your decorations into the same outlet either. As a general rule of thumb, never plug more than three strings of lights together. Many homes have more than one outdoor outlet, so be sure to use them accordingly. Plugging too many lights into one outlet often leads to a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.

If you do blow a fuse, don’t blow your top! This common Halloween mishap happens to just about everyone. A circuit breaker is designed to trip or turn off as a safety feature when too much power is running through it. This cuts off the flow of electricity to prevent damage or worse, a fire. If this does happen, unplug all your hanging lights and head to your home’s electrical panel. For circuit breakers, look for a breaker that has shifted from the “on” position to “off” and simply move it back to the “on” position. For fuse boxes, look for any fuses that have melted metal or that are discolored. These can easily be replaced to get your lights shining bright again in no time!

At Douthit Electrical, we love Halloween just as much as anyone else. Our seasoned electrical professionals can help you have some safe, frightening fun this Halloween season with our outdoor lighting design expertise.

Give us a call today to see how!


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Holiday Lighting Safety Tips from Charlotte Electricians

Christmas DecorationsWhether you compete with the neighbors for the best holiday light display or you prefer the elegant simplicity of a single set of icicle lights, you’ll want to read these tips on how to safely decorate your home in Charlotte. Prevent fires and dangerous electrical shocks by focusing on holiday electrical safety.

Holiday Lighting Safety Tips

  • Never hang strings of lights with nails, staples, screws, or tacks. No matter how careful you are, you could still damage the electrical cord, creating a hazard.
  • Only use lights that specifically say that they are for outdoor use outdoors. You may think the strings of lights look the same, but outdoor lights are made differently and can better withstand the elements.
  • Plug outdoor lights into ground fault circuit interrupter outlets. These outlets help prevent electrical shorts and electrical shocks if water gets into the socket.
  • Water live, indoor Christmas trees regularly. This will help keep your tree from becoming dry and more flammable.
  • Use LED light bulbs. These will produce less heat and will therefore operate more safely both indoors and out.
  • Inspect light strings thoroughly prior to use. Check for frays, gaps in the insulation, and worn or bare spots. Also, touch light strings that are in use to make sure they are not becoming too hot. Wires that become hot should be unplugged right away.
  • Examine sockets. Make sure there are no cracks—even in tiny crack can be a hazard.

Okay, you know what to do now. Grab your Santa, your Rudolph, your snowman, and your rainbow of lights and get decorating! If you run into any electrical problems, don’t hesitate to give Douthit Electrical a call!


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