Outside Christmas Light considerations


Active Member
It's that time of the year, and I'm wondering...

I will be stringing up Christmas lights and lit figures outside this season - is there anything I need to be cautious of? My general opinion is water and electricity don't mix - but I don't see any way around it by using numerous extension cords. Anything I should/could do to help protect against the elements? I will be using heavy duty outdoor extension cords, but it still seems like rain could get inside the outlets.
I usually zip tie my appliance modules to a short wooden stake, then slip a zip lock bag over that. I only loosley close the bottom of the zip lock bag so moisture or condensent can drain out.

I do the same thing for all outdoor connections, even those without the appliance module. The wooden stake holds the electrical connection a couple of inches off the ground, and of course the zip lock bag acts as a "rain coat".

Like electron, I also use the zip lock bags for connections under the eaves, in places where I don't already have outlets installed and using the covers that completly enclose the oulet and whatever is plugged into it.
I've only used ziploc bags in the dark ages when I used a manual Intermatic timer. This year I am putting in UPB receptacles that are in a weatherproof housing. The outdoor extension cords are not protected and I have never had any problem. After all, they are connected to a GFCI circuit, which yes, I do test each season.
I've used the ziplock bags before as well... guess that's a decent way to help protect them. I like the suggestion about the dielectric grease as an extra precaution.

I should have clarified - my UPB Appliance modules are in the garage protected... I am mostly worried about the extension cords in the grass and under the eaves. I like the stake idea to hold them up... will do that too.

Thanks for the quick ideas!
You can also use one of the Intermatic HA04 Outdoor Appliance modules (which are Z-Wave), if it's easier to put the module outside. They can be used in indoor or outdoor, in dry, damp, or wet conditions.

Although I don't think that means you should bury them in snow. That's just a bad idea :D