Challenges of a Christmas Light Switch-On Event 

15th November 2019 Joshua Gardner - Founder

As Christmas approaches, light displays are beginning to go up in cities and towns around the country in anticipation of a big switch on over the next few weeks. For many, this is when the festive season really kicks off and they can begin counting down the days and making preparations.

Although an incredibly joyful time of year, it is also the time when electrical fires are most common due to illuminated decorations. In order to avoid injury and stay safe this Christmas, it is important to follow the appropriate procedures to ensure no dangerous electrical faults occur.

Main challenges

For large scale lighting displays, such as those that adorn our local towns, there are certain challenges that arise. Being placed in busy areas with hundreds of people walking by each day and night means that it is crucial that all the correct safety precautions are put in place.

The main challenges faced at these events include;

Ensuring electrical safety

Inputting electrical displays into a public arena comes with its risks. The insurance and responsibility of hundreds of people’s safety is a big task to take on, however, it is all worth it for the joy it can bring if done correctly. The main thing to ensure is that any outdoor, fixed electrical lighting is fitted by a registered, NICEIC approved electrician to guarantee that any display complies with the appropriate safety standards.

As your chosen electrician will know, any lights installed outdoors need to be designed for this purpose and be able to withstand extreme weather conditions. It is also a crucial requirement that all outdoor sockets are 30ma RCD (residual current device) protected. This means that if an incident occurs where the cable is cut or damaged, the entire flow of electricity will switch off to avoid shock or injury.

Crowd control

As hundreds of people gather in one place, there needs to be measures in place to manage these crowds. Road closure is necessary to allow room for entertainment and activities such as Christmas market stalls, food vans and funfair rides whilst ensuring the safety of large groups of children and adults. Voluntary wardens tend to be put in place to manage and instruct crowds regarding rules and social behaviour. Also, it is a good idea to have local authorities present to deal with any trouble that may occur.

Keeping energy efficient

When large scale lighting displays are installed all over the country, it is natural to be concerned about the amount of energy this will use. However, as systems develop, there are now plenty of options to ensure a large bill doesn’t rack up.

LED lights are the favoured option these days. They use much less energy and are longer-lasting than incandescent bulbs, lasting for 4,000+ hours. This type of bulb also offers multiple style options, whether you choose string lights to illuminate your shop fronts and trees or festive symbols affixed to the high street lamp posts.

The use of timers will also assist your town or village in saving energy this season. Programming the lights to turn on at dusk and switch off as soon as the sun rises will preserve energy and avoid waste.

Find your local light switch-on

Christmas lights in Oxford Street in London

Hertfordshire loves to celebrate the festive season and cater to all ages, friends and families.

Get these dates in your diary to ensure you don’t miss your local switch-on;

Hatfield – Saturday 16th November 

A Snow White themed event kicking off in the town centre across from White Lion Square, The Arcade and Market Place. 

St Albans – Sunday 17th November

Enjoy Santa’s Grotto, live music, food, drink and fun in the city centre.

Hertford – Friday 22nd November

Annual Christmas gala in the town centre from 3.30pm – 8pm.

Harpenden – Sunday 24th November

The Christmas Carnival is returning to the high street, lights will be switched on at 5pm.

Stevenage – Thursday 28th November

Festive fun and special guests from 4pm onwards in the Town Square. 

Hitchin – Saturday 30th November

Head to 27 Churchyard for a whole afternoon of fun, 12pm until 6pm. 

Or, if you want to go big this year, head to the capital and explore some of London’s best festive light displays.

Choose Point Electrical…

We offer high-quality and cost-effective commercial lighting services to suit your needs. Get in touch and choose us to ensure your Christmas light switch-on goes ahead as safely and efficiently as possible.

Joshua Gardner - Founder

Founder of Point Electrical