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Christmas lights switching.

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bud16415

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Yesterday was a nice day and we worked on our outside Christmas lights. In the front of the house I mounted an outlet in the ceiling that comes on and off with the porch light and I unscrew the porch light and plug the lights into the outlet and have switching. Works great.



On the side and back of the house I added lower outlets for summer time use and also winter Christmas lights. They were always a pain to go out and plug in when it was cold. It dawned on me last night that when I put those outlets in I placed a GFCI outlet at each location inside and then piggy backed and outside outlet on the opposite side. I like having the GFCI inside and out of the weather even with the weather-proof boxes.

I thought all I have to do is go over and test my GFCI and the lights will go off and to turn them on the next night reset it. No more suiting up for me. Maybe others do this I don’t know, but it just came to me so I thought I would pass on the idea. :coffee:
 

Snoonyb

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GFCI's are an expensive switch, so how about a dawn to dusk?
 

bud16415

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GFCI's are an expensive switch, so how about a dawn to dusk?
I used to use them at my old house the plug in ones. I put them in the garage and then ran green outdoor extension cords out under the door to the lighting. I never had great luck with them lasting year to year. Kind of like these series lighting that I’m lucky to get 2 years out of and I never take the time to find the bad bulb. The new LEDs are a little better.



For now testing my GFCI once a day will have to work. I don’t test them once a month like you are supposed to so I’m doing my years worth of testing in one month.

I don’t remember ever seeing anything on how many test cycles one is good for. Maybe someone has that info.
 

havasu

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I purchased a photocell plug which allows be to have the lights come on automatically at dusk, and it has 2 hour, 4 hour, 6 hour 8 hour switches, or to stay on until dawn. I keep my lights on for 6 hours after dusk, and it cost me $12.
 

afjes_2016

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I also put my Xmas lights up this weekend. Now get this - I am a retired electrician. I have handled some pretty tough issues in troubleshooting etc. Wired houses on my own.

So I, like last year, started running my xmas lights from the GFCI receptacle and out from there. I did not plug them in yet as I would want to secure them first and then plug them in once I run the string of lights.

So I start running my string of lights. Down the front steps, around the hand railing along the side walk down to the street and back again, around the bush a few times etc. About 6 strings of lights attached end to end.

Here is the kicker - I go to plug them in and realize stupid me left the female part of the light string at the GFCI receptacle and not the male end. This is classified as "Screw-Ups 001" Do you believe this?!

:clap :dunno:


And what is more stupid I am here telling everyone about my screw-up

.
 

bud16415

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I also put my Xmas lights up this weekend. Now get this - I am a retired electrician. I have handled some pretty tough issues in troubleshooting etc. Wired houses on my own.

So I, like last year, started running my xmas lights from the GFCI receptacle and out from there. I did not plug them in yet as I would want to secure them first and then plug them in once I run the string of lights.

So I start running my string of lights. Down the front steps, around the hand railing along the side walk down to the street and back again, around the bush a few times etc. About 6 strings of lights attached end to end.

Here is the kicker - I go to plug them in and realize stupid me left the female part of the light string at the GFCI receptacle and not the male end. This is classified as "Screw-Ups 001" Do you believe this?!

:clap :dunno:


And what is more stupid I am here telling everyone about my screw-up

.
I would have run a long extension cord to the other end and not told anyone. :coffee:
 

bud16415

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I purchased a photocell plug which allows be to have the lights come on automatically at dusk, and it has 2 hour, 4 hour, 6 hour 8 hour switches, or to stay on until dawn. I keep my lights on for 6 hours after dusk, and it cost me $12.
I should give the timers another try. Yours sounds like it works pretty good. Photocells have a little problem here as it never gets sunny all winter. and they likely would thing it was dusk around noon.

8"-12" coming this week i'm told.
 

rbm328

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I also put my Xmas lights up this weekend. Now get this - I am a retired electrician. I have handled some pretty tough issues in troubleshooting etc. Wired houses on my own.

So I, like last year, started running my xmas lights from the GFCI receptacle and out from there. I did not plug them in yet as I would want to secure them first and then plug them in once I run the string of lights.

So I start running my string of lights. Down the front steps, around the hand railing along the side walk down to the street and back again, around the bush a few times etc. About 6 strings of lights attached end to end.

Here is the kicker - I go to plug them in and realize stupid me left the female part of the light string at the GFCI receptacle and not the male end. This is classified as "Screw-Ups 001" Do you believe this?!

:clap :dunno:


And what is more stupid I am here telling everyone about my screw-up

.
nice to know other people do stupid things like I DO! :)
 

rbm328

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two years ago, my wife purchased and started using a remote control switch she found on a amzon. it controls three different plugs. #1 she uses for outside front porch, #2 is used for outside bushes lights and #3 is used for inside Christmas tree. Obviously its not wx proof and there were several extension cords, but still, at bed time, it was click, click and click!
 

afjes_2016

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I would have run a long extension cord to the other end and not told anyone. :coffee:
That's what I ended up doing. Luckly the end with the plug ended up very close to the gFCI so I only had to run a short ext cord
 

dsteinhorn

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I also put my Xmas lights up this weekend. Now get this - I am a retired electrician. I have handled some pretty tough issues in troubleshooting etc. Wired houses on my own.

So I, like last year, started running my xmas lights from the GFCI receptacle and out from there. I did not plug them in yet as I would want to secure them first and then plug them in once I run the string of lights.

So I start running my string of lights. Down the front steps, around the hand railing along the side walk down to the street and back again, around the bush a few times etc. About 6 strings of lights attached end to end.

Here is the kicker - I go to plug them in and realize stupid me left the female part of the light string at the GFCI receptacle and not the male end. This is classified as "Screw-Ups 001" Do you believe this?!

:clap :dunno:


And what is more stupid I am here telling everyone about my screw-up

.
Can't you simply make a short jumper with two male connectors, one on each end, to connect the outlet to the female end of the string? Seems like less work than unwinding and rewinding lights.
 

bud16415

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Can't you simply make a short jumper with two male connectors, one on each end, to connect the outlet to the female end of the string? Seems like less work than unwinding and rewinding lights.
Better make a cap for the other end as well.
 

afjes_2016

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A cord with male ends on both sides is what we in the trade call a

Suicide Cord

Any DIYer reading this thread please DO NOT make such a cord for any reason. It is nothing less than dangerous to do so. Either end when plugged in the other end will have "hot" prongs that can cause serious bodily injury (electrocution).
 

SidecarBob

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Definitely male 110V plugs should never be used for anything except the end of a cord that you plug into a receptacle. This reminded me about a church we used to go to where someone mounted a split receptacle in the platform with wires running to the speakers so they could move the pulpit (& the amp that was on a shelf inside it) out of the way for things like the Xmas play. Apparently it worked pretty well until someone that wasn't aware of how things were wired plugged one of those those male 110V plugs on the amp's speaker wires into the live receptacle......

FWIW, I decided I don't like messing around with strings of lights a few years ago so I got projector lights. Now it takes me under an hour including digging everything out and the only time I need a ladder is for putting the (low voltage) wires for some of them in through the corners of the garage doors.
 

BuzzLOL

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I carry a double male plug wire about a foot long to quickly temporarily power up lights in a house with my portable generator for when commercial power has failed... unplug the Mains fuse/switch off Mains circuit breaker first... I don't lend it out to people who don't know what they're doing...
 
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