One of my favorite Holiday Season pastimes is driving around admiring Christmas lights. In other words, wasting lots of fuel in order to enjoy the creative ways my neighbors have chosen to waste lots of electricity. But now Christmas is over, which means holiday decorations are coming down. Many people are asking when is a good time to take down Christmas lights.
For a lot of people the lights come on Thanksgiving night and stay on through mid January.
Others have traditions and religious reasons for when their lights are taken down. Mike Peck is the Pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Overland Park. “Christmas is actually a season in the church year,” he said. “Twelve days begins on 25, which is first day of Christmas takes you through January 5 which is the 12th day of Christmas.
Failing to “undecorate” isn’t just socially inappropriate. It can be dangerous, especially when it comes to outdoor lights, says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at UL.
“Decorations are temporary lighting — they are not light fixtures,” Drengenberg says. When UL tests holiday light strings for safety, they’re tested as decorations, which means a maximum use of 90 days. “If you leave them up during the summer, you’ve got extreme heat, birds and squirrels that could damage the wiring. Then next season when you plug them in, you could see sparks,” he says.
No matter when you take your lights down, it’s essentially up to you. If you’re smart, you’ll take advantage of some of the warm weather over the next few days and take your lights down then. I would however suggest you get them down by the end of January.