Home Electric Repair, Meyer Electrical Services Inc.
Written by Walt Meyer

Prevent Holiday Lighting From Overloading Your Circuits

When you lose power suddenly in an area of your home, it is usually from an overloaded circuit that is drawing too much electricity, causing a circuit breaker to trip. Frequently this is caused by plugging in too many electrical devices and lights into one power strip.

Several strings of holiday lights connected together may be problematic if they are drawing power from a single outlet. This is typically the case if your home is older, and its electrical system has not been upgraded to meet modern demands. The following are four steps for overload prevention when powering holiday decorations.

1) Circuit Load Calculation

The majority of household circuits are rated from 15 to 20 amps. If you add up how much electricity your electrical devices and holiday lights will draw, you will be able to determine if a circuit is capable of handling the load. Whenever you near an 80% load factor, you should find another circuit to plug in your holiday lights.

2) Caution With Large Appliances

Play it safe by avoiding rooms that already contain several appliances when considering places for plugging in holiday lights. This is especially true in the kitchen. You will get additional insurance by unplugging electronics and devices that aren’t being used in the room where you plan to plug in holiday lighting.

3) Conserve Energy With LEDs

You can get more festive with your home’s holiday lighting by replacing traditional bulbs with LED lights. LEDs use much less energy, so you will save on your utility bills and your home will be safer because there will be less stress on your electrical system.

4) Upgrading Electrical System

If you identify with homeowners who tend to go all out with a full-size holiday display on their front lawns, it is probably wise to talk to a local licensed electrician. Discuss installing a dedicated circuit or two that are rated for 20 amps or get an electrical panel upgrade to ensure adequate power and safety.

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Founded in 1991 and serving Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services you can trust, including:


  • Standby Generator Installation
  • Panel Upgrades (Heavy-Ups)
  • Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations
  • Structured Cabling
  • Circuit Breaker Replacement

Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.