From the Forums: Outdoor Christmas Lights Plug In Solution

Posted by: on November 30th, 2012 | 2 Comments
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A beautiful home with Christmas lights

Nice, but can you turn the Christmas lights on with a remote control?

 

If you live in an older house or condominium, you might have trouble with your outdoor electrical sockets. Namely, if you have enough of them, they’re not placed very conveniently. This problem crops up for a lot of people at Christmastime when turning on the outdoor Christmas lights means crawling in the dirt behind a hedge to plug the lights in, or stretching over collected stuff in a storage room … or, heck, having to put on your shoes and step out into the cold.

This was basically the problem that elly58 presented to the DIY experts on The Home Depot’s online Community Forums. Specifically, he needed a way to turn the Christmas lights on and off on his condo balcony without having to leave a light on inside a storage closet just off the balcony. “There are NO electrical outlets out there. There’s a light bulb socket in the closet that has one of those adapters to hold both the light bulb and adds an electrical socket, you just have to pull the string and it turns on the light and whatever’s plugged into it,” he writes. That worked OK for plugging in the outdoor Christmas lights, except that he had to crawl into the closet in the dark to turn the holiday lights on and off.

elly58 wasn’t sure what to do. He even toyed with the idea of replacing the socket in the closet with something that would have two switches on it so he could have Christmas lights on, and closet light off at the same time.

Forums associate Stukas had a pretty simple solution that avoided replacing the light socket — just screw in a two-outlet socket with a pull chain. It can accept a bulb and has a separate switch for an attached electrical outlet.

A Leviton 2-Outlet White Socket with Pull Chain

Leviton 2-Outlet White Socket with Pull Chain

 

That would do the trick, and do it pretty inexpensively.

But Forums associate TAngelo had what might be the definitive solution, and one that could help solve the problem of hard-to-plug-in outdoor Christmas lights for everyone — an outdoor outlet strip with remote control.

 

Heath Zenith Outdoor Outlet Strip Control With Remote

 

The remote controls TAngelo recommended feature two lighting operation choices. You can select the dusk-to-dawn feature that turns the Christmas lights on and off automatically, or you can just push the button on the remote control from inside your warm house up to 100 feet away.

Of course, you will have to plug the device in once, so it might not completely eliminate a crawl or a reach. But once your outdoor Christmas lights are plugged in to the remote-controlled outlet strip, you’re good to go for the rest of the holiday season.

We have more advice and project ideas from our experts. Visit the Forums for DIY tips and and gardening advice from our store associates. From the Forums is our weekly column highlighting the best of The Home Depot’s Community Forums.

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  1. Nancy Wilder says:

    In addition to TAngelo’s solution, there are solar-powered outlets that turn on and off outdoor lighting when on the dawn-to-dusk mode.

  2. bonnie z. says:

    For christmas lights try using a timer.