74
      Thursday
      93 / 67
      Friday
      90 / 67
      Saturday
      90 / 67

      Amarillo residents use safety first to install Christmas lights

      For 10 years neighbors Dan Reed and Ernie McAnally have wasted no time making Gainsborough Road one of the most popular holiday attractions in Amarillo.

      "We normally start Nov. 1 and if we have pretty weather the weekend before, we'll cheat and start a little early," McAnally said.

      If there's one thing McAnally won't cheat when he helps his neighbors decorate their homes, it's the safety tips he follows every year.

      "We're almost exclusive LED lights which they pull very little electricity, and we try to get most of the neighbors to go to the LED lights," he said.

      McAnally said he had separate circuits installed a few years ago exclusively for Christmas lights, but now that he's using LED lights, the circuits are no longer necessary.

      Cleat Bell owner of Jingle Bell Christmas Lights said a majority of his clients always want to have the best and latest lights on the block, but when using LED lights there are still a few precautions people should consider.

      "You want to make sure you don't overload the sockets." Bell said. Always read your tags on the strand. It will tell you how many watts you can use per strand."

      Bell said a major concern is when people start connecting the strands of Christmas lights which involves splicing wires.

      "You want to make sure you don't get your wires crossed and make sure you use the recommended bulbs for those strands," Bell said.

      As for McAnally, safety is always key when connecting hundreds of lights, and so is keeping the tradition he started alive.

      "Everyone is putting out a lot of decorations." McAnally said. "The next block is doing great also and we'd like it to go down to Bell Street. That would be fine with us."