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Christmas without festive lighting is simply unimaginable for many people. The so-called fairy lights are particularly popular as decoration. They are not only used as Christmas tree decorations, but increasingly also as window lighting or outdoors.
But the supposedly harmless electric light sources sometimes pose a significant security risk, as the TÜV Rheinland has determined. Especially older fairy lights on which one or the other electric candle has blown, often do not have a voltage regulation: The other candles are then all the hotter. The TÜV has partially measured temperatures over 200 degrees - newsprint begins to smolder when it gets 175 degrees. Some of the models sold are also produced in the Far East and often do not meet the safety standards prescribed in Germany.
Check old fairy lights for damage
If you use older fairy lights, you should check not only the bulbs, but also the consistency of the cable and plug insulation. Cheap plastic ages quickly - especially if you store your Christmas lights on a warm, dry loft all year round. He then becomes brittle, gets cracks and breakages.
Another problem: often intended for indoor lighting fairy lights are used outdoors. However, they are not sufficiently protected from moisture, there is a risk of electric shock or short circuits.
LED fairy lights are safer
The TÜV recommends LED fairy lights when buying new. They hardly get hot during operation and consume significantly less power than conventional bulbs. In addition, LEDs are very durable and are operated with low power - therefore occur higher voltages only directly on the power supply, damaged cables, however, are unproblematic. However, the light color can be critical: light with a high blue content, for example, can damage the optic nerves after a long look. In any case, one should pay attention to the GS mark: The abbreviation stands for "tested safety" and ensures that the product complies with the applicable DIN standards and European standards.