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outdoor wedding reception lighting

we are hosting our daughters wedding at our home. I have never been one to put up many outdoor lights and wonder how people put up so many during the holidays without blowing everything out.
we would like to put up mini lights around the parameter of the tent and around the tent poles. I understand that only like 3 sets can be plugged into each other, but is it ok to put a bunch of sets of 3 into a surge strip and then plug that in? I don't want to do something that will ruin the lights we have and then have to try and find more lights at the last min!
HELP would be appreciated from all the die hard light decorators out there!

Re: outdoor wedding reception lighting

The maximum of three that you mention is for daisy-chaining. It should be no problem to connect several sets to a surge strip, providing that the extension cord is of sufficient wire gauge. I'd recommend using a 12 gauge extension cord to the surge strip, and keep the total load of the lights to less than 12 amps. Using a lighter-weight cord could be a fire hazard.

If you need more capacity than this, use another extension cord plugged into a different circuit.

The light sets should have either an amp rating or a watt rating. Just add up the amps to get the total load. You can convert watts to amps by dividing watts by 120.

Re: outdoor wedding reception lighting

The reason for the three string limit is so you don't exceed the ampacity of the wiring used to make the strings which is usually quite small. As fencepost said you can plug multiple 3 set strings in a surge strip. If you put to many the only thing likely to happen is you would trip the breaker on the strip not cause damage to the lights.

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