While string lights are beautiful to look at, they’re also tricky to install properly and safely. Especially if you’re trying to connect more than one together. You never know how many to string together for one outlet, or whether they’re safe to plug into an extension cord. It’s a lot to think about and can quickly become overwhelming. However, there’s an easy way to take the stress out of it all. You just need to look at several factors and do some basic math. Interested in knowing how many light strings you can connect together? Keep reading below!
When connecting any type of string lights, you need to first look at several factors:
The type of light
The type of light you choose to use can play a huge factor in how many strands you can safely connect together.
For example, incandescents are cheaper and therefore a favorite for budget-friendly families. However, they typically have higher wattages with an average light string boasting 5-10 watts each. On the other hand, LEDs are usually more expensive upfront but they have much lower wattage around 2-3 watts per strand.
The circuit you are plugging your lights into plays a big role in how many you can connect as well. Is it in a safe, dry place? Has it been checked for electrical issues by an electrician? Making sure the outlet you’re going to use is safe before connecting string lights.
Something to also consider is the cord specifications on your string light packaging. It should give you some information regarding how many strings can be connected together. This can make your planning much easier, but if you don’t have the packaging or can’t find the specs, then you can always calculate the max wattage and amount of connections yourself.
To determine the max wattage of your circuit, you just need to do some simple math. Most homes have circuits with 15-20 amps in them. Additionally, they have an average of 120 volts. To determine the max wattage of your circuit, all you have to do is multiply the amps by the volts:
15 amp circuit- 15×120=1800 watts
20 amp circuit- 20×120=2400 watts
With these calculations, you can see that a 15 amp circuit can handle a max of 1800 watts and a 20amp can handle 2400. Before you move on, though, most electricians recommend keeping your outlet usage at no more than 80% so you don’t blow a fuse or cause fire safety issues. Therefore, you’re actually looking at 1440 watts for a 15 amp circuit and 1920 watts for a 20 amp circuit.
Knowing these numbers, you can now determine how many string lights you can connect together.
For arguments’ sake (please check all string lights and manufacturers for specific wattages) let’s say an average incandescent string light set uses 100 watts. If your circuit is 15 amps, that means you can only use 1440 watts total on it. 1440/100= 14.4. Therefore, your circuit can only handle 14 incandescent light strings connected together.
On the other hand, if an average LED string light set uses 10 watts, then 1440/10=144. That means you can have 144 light strings connected together if they’re LED! That’s a lot more light than the incandescent.
Ask for help
Still not sure how to determine how many light strings you can connect together? No problem! At LED Lights Unlimited, we specialize in custom LED lights, commercial string lights, and more.
Give us a call today, we can help answer any questions you have regarding connecting string lights for your home or business.