10 Tips for Safer Holiday Light Displays

Every holiday season, U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 200 home fires that started with lighted trees, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Electrical problems caused one-third of these incidents. Fortunately, these fires are not common, but when they occur they are almost always serious.

To make sure your holiday season remains cheerful, keep the following safety tips in mind while decorating your home:

  1. Use lights that have been tested for safety. Look for “UL” on the tag, which means the lights have been approved by Underwriters Laboratories, a global leader in testing, inspection and certification.
  2. Inspect lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires or loose connections. If you encounter any of these problems, throw it away.
  3. Limit the number of light strands to three per outlet. For added safety, use a power strip with a built-in circuit breaker instead of a wall outlet.
  4. Replace incandescent lights with LED lights. They generate less heat, which makes them a safer choice both indoors and out. Although LED lights are more expensive, they last much longer and use 75 percent less electricity—two additional reasons to make the switch.
  5. Part with your old lights. Hand-me-down lights may be sentimental and less costly, but newer lights are much safer. That’s because they’re equipped with fused plugs that prevent sparks if a short circuit occurs.
  6. Remember that indoor and outdoor lights are not created equal. Indoor lights, which have thinner insulation, are not made to withstand wet winter weather. Read the label carefully to ensure you’re making the right purchase.
  7. Be extension-cord savvy. For exterior decorations, be sure to use extension cords that are UL-rated for outdoor use. Indoors, avoid running extension cords in high-traffic areas where people could trip over them. Do not hide extension cords under rugs or beneath furniture, where they could become frayed or overheat.
  8. Adhere to a lights-out policy when you leave the house or go to sleep. If the lights short and start a fire, you want to be available to take action. Avoid the extra hassle by purchasing an automated light timer or remote control.
  9. Keep in mind that electric lights and metallic trees don’t mix. The tree could become charged with electricity, causing a potential electrocution hazard for anyone who touches it. If you prefer an aluminum tree, opt for a colored spotlight that’s not fastened to the tree.
  10. Make sure outdoor lights are plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. These are designed to protect against electrocution by automatically turning off when a change in electrical flow occurs.

As you brighten up the holidays with indoor and outdoor light displays that everyone will love, keep everyone safe with these tips.

Embracing Nature

In the late 19th Century, architect Antoni Gaudi was deeply influenced by the atmosphere of forests for the interior of his masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona, Spain.

Sagrada Familia Cathedral interior. Barcelona, Spain

Gaudi’s stunning buildings in Barcelona, Spain, remain a legacy to his life-long belief that we need look no further than nature to see construction at its supreme. The most ambitious of his works is the Sagrada Familia cathedral. Gaudi took over design in 1883 and the building is due to be finished in 2026, 100 years after his death.

The cathedral’s awesome interior is inspired by the idea of a forest that invites prayer. Tree-like columns branch off near the roof for support, and in-between skylights contain green and gold glass to reflect light. Enhancing the feeling of standing on a forest floor and Gaudi’s plan to create a contemplative atmosphere are large colored glass windows letting in dappled sunlight.

A century or so later, Currey & Company is even incorporating living matter into its designs. They are embracing the unity of opposites with functional pieces inspired by organic forms found in nature.

Sacred gingko leaves, serene lily pads and blooming calla lilies are just a few of the natural shapes their lighting, furniture and accent pieces have been designed to emulate. Crafted from metal, wood and ceramic, these designs never wilt but stand the test of time.

Gin Kyo Chandelier & Bohlend Cabinet

Currey & Company 9000-0133 – Ten ginko leaves created for Currey by a master sculptor adorn the ring of the Gin Kyo Chandelier. The piece’s 10 lights come to life behind these natural accents and gleam off of its Dark Contemporary Gold Leaf finish.

Currey & Company 3000-0021 – A true work of art with many functions, the Bohlend Cabinet not only features an interior storage drawer with felt liner, teak veneer surfaces and adjustable tempered glass shelves, but an antiqued mirror back panel and an LED touch light with three-way setting. Its eye-catching design of hand-cut ginko leaf marquetry is made of mappa veneer and is perfectly contrasted by the solid teak construction and solid brass hardware.

Currey & Company 6000-0067 - Calla Lily Table Lamp

Currey & Company 6000-0067 – Calla Lily Table Lamp

Pretty as a picture! Intricate hand-formed ceramic flower petals create a feminine lamp chic enough to handle any style room from vintage to modern. The fantastic texture of the crafted flower base contrasts with the soft silk shade in eggshell and the Antique Brushed Brass hardware gives it a warm finishing touch.

How Much Wattage Required?

Need to determine how much total wattage your light fixtures need to output to adequately illuminate your room? Here is an easy way to calculate how much light you need for a given space.

First, calculate the square footage of the room by multiplying its width x length. For example, if your room is 14′ x 16′

14′ x 16′ = 224 square feet

To determine the necessary wattage to light the room for general use, multiply the square footage by a factor of 1.5

224 x 1.5 = 336 watts

To ensure the room is properly lit, make sure the combined wattage output by all your lamps, chandeliers, sconces, and any other lighting equals at least 336 watts.

Beckmore Lantern

Currey & Company 9748 – A delightful 4 light lantern comes with seeded glass panels that give it a special appeal. The wrought iron framework is finished in old iron. The hand finishing process used on this fixture lends an air of depth and richness not achieved by less time-consuming methods.

For example, the 4 light Beckmore Lantern using 60 watt bulbs would provide 240 watts of lighting for the room. Add a couple Beckmore Wall Sconces and they would contribute an additional 60W ea. of lighting. This would bring the total to 360 watts for the room, thereby eclipsing the minimum 336 watts required.

For task lighting for a kitchen or home office, multiply the square footage by 2.5 to determine your wattage needs.

Currey Moves Outdoors

Currey & Company, best known for its indoor lighting products (chandeliers, wall sconces, table and floor lamps), has expanded its offering to include outdoor lighting.


The TWELFTH STREET Collection includes four styles – the Ripley, Bening, Giatti and the Faracy, which each come in three finish options; Midnight (Pure Black), Starlight (Black with Silver), and Moonlight (Black with Gold). It is the only outdoor lighting collection in the industry to offer a 5-Year Trilux Finish Guarantee against cracking, fading and rust.

Ripley Outdoor Wall Sconce

Currey & Company 5500-0015 – The Ripley Outdoor Wall Sconce features a timeless geometric design, perfectly framing the light within the lantern.

Bening Outdoor Wall Sconce

Currey & Company 5500-0010 – The Bening Outdoor Wall Sconce is a classic lantern design featuring clean lines of iron encasing seeded glass.

Giatti Outdoor Wall Sconce

Currey & Company 5500-0019 – The Giatti Outdoor Wall Sconce is a sleek, unobtrusive accent featuring seeded glass and curved iron pieces.

Faracy Outdoor Wall Sconce

Currey & Company 5500-0018 – The Faracy Outdoor Wall Sconce blends contemporary and traditional with its clean lines and decorative fleur-de-ls.

We expect this new outdoor lighting collection to grow into a significant part of the company’s business and look forward to more outdoor lighting offerings in the future. With a workforce in Atlanta and Currey International in the Philippines, Currey & Company brings to the marketplace merchandise that not only speaks of the touch of the human hand, but also utilizes a myriad of natural materials.


LED Filament Light Bulbs

Filament aficionados can get their vintage fix with new LED Edison bulbs that eat one-tenth the energy of the incandescents, but cost about $15 apiece. Vingate Edisons are seriously wasteful, guzzling five to 10 times the energy of new bulbs on the market.

This antique style bulb has a warm white hue that creates a vibrant glow reminiscent of early 20th-century lighting. Install this bulb in an exposed socket pendant and truly enjoy its distinctive shape and color.

LED filament light bulb

Create an antique flair in your home without outlandish energy costs with this LED filament light bulb. The PLT ST1918022C Edison style bulb is silicone coated and UL listed to achieve a vintage elegance with all of the benefits of an LED bulb. The warm white, 2200K color temperature will provide a comfortable display so enjoy energy-efficient, classic lighting with this LED filament ST19 bulb. Use with an ELV dimmer switch to achieve smooth, effortless dimmability.

Available from stores such as 1000bulbs.com, the shaped glass is exactly like a traditional standard round and fits regular light fittings with good representation of colors. Therefore the bulb is fantastic for atmospheric lighting, in a Beckett Trio Pendant light (as shown below), as well as discreet lighting.

Beckett Trio Pendant

Currey & Company 9969 – Voluptuous glass spheres are suspended at differing heights in this polished minimalist piece. The simple elegance of wrought iron, enhanced with an Emery Rust finish, gives the Beckett Trio Pendant a cultivated industrial feel.

Inspired by Thomas Edison’s original carbon filament design, new LED bulbs create an iconic glow while saving you in energy costs.