Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How to Minimize Electric Circuit Overload and Minimize Fire Hazard Risk with LED Christmas Lights?

Especially during holiday season, many homes experience electric circuit overload, which causes the fuse to blow, the circuit breaker to trip and/ or wires to overheat, which leads to fire hazard.

What is the reason for this?

The reason for electric circuit overload is having appliances draw more power from the electric circuit than what the electric circuit provides.

Typical electric circuit in residential homes provides 15 to 20 amps of electric current. The way to determine the amount of electric current (in amps) provided by each circuit is by looking at the circuit breaker box, in which a number is printed on the end of each switch to indicate the number of amps for that circuit.

One electric circuit can supply electricity for several outlets. The way to determine which outlets are supplied by the electric circuit is to switch off the electric circuit and check which outlets work or not work when the electric circuit is off.

So you are wondering, why does electric circuit overload has to do with Christmas lights?

Many of you probably don't know that regular incandescent Christmas lights can draw more power than they seem, especially when several lights run and are extended on a single electric circuit.

Here are some simple calculations to determine how many incandescent and LED Christmas lights can run on a single electric circuit (calculations do not include other electrical appliances powered by the same electric circuit):

Voltage (in volts) * Current (in amps) = Total Power (in watts)
Voltage from electric outlet (in U.S.) = 120 volts
Electric circuit provides current of 15 to 20 amps
120 volts * 15 to 20 amps = 1800 to 2400 watts of total power per electric circuit

Useable power is only 80% of the total power:
Total Power (in watts) * 0.8 = Useable power
1800 to 2400 watts * 0.8 = 1440 to 1920 watts of useable power per electric circuit

# of Christmas light bulbs that can run on electric circuit = Useable power / power per light bulb
Below table show how many regular incandescent versus LED Christmas Lights can run on electric circuit.

Type of Christmas
Light Bulb;
Wattage per bulb

# of Christmas
Light Bulb per
15 amps circuit
# of Christmas
Light Bulb per
20 amps circuit

# of 100-bulbs string lights
per circuit

Mini LED bulb;
0.05 watt per bulb
(Green Supply
LED String Lights

288 to 384
Green Supply LED String Lights
per circuit

Regular incandescent
C7 light bulb;
5 watts

2.88 to 3.84 (~3 string lights)
Regular incandescent
C9 light bulb;
10 watts
1.44 to 1.92 (~1 string light)

From the above table, it shows that up to 384 Green Supply 100-bulbs LED Christmas Lights can be powered by one electric circuit versus only up to 1 to 3 regular incandescent 100-bulbs string lights per electric circuit without causing electric overload.

Switching to LED Christmas Lights can help minimize electric circuit overload and minimize fire hazard risk. Here is more information about Green Supply LED String Lights:

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