Make a DIY Dry Box to Protect Your Holiday Lights From the Weather

Outdoor holiday lighting is an essential part of the season for many people, bringing a little extra brightness to the long winter nights. Connecting multiple strands of light is often the best way to achieve the look you want, but connections made outdoors are open to the elements, allowing moisture from rain, melting ice and snow to get inside the connectors. This can cause switches to pop out and ruin your display, not to mention cause havoc on your internal electrics. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to protect your outdoor display connectors and keep everything dry and functional.

Keep your forks dry by holding them off the ground

The best way to keep candles dry is to keep them above ground. If there’s a way to attach them to a fence post, porch, or other structure, that’s the best way to keep them from getting wet. Plan ahead and measure the distance needed for the length of the cord to make this part easier when you start setting up the display. If it’s not possible to get them off the ground, be sure to check the connectors every few days to make sure they’re dry and show no signs of wear.

Protect the connectors with a plastic container

To make a dry box out of a plastic food storage container, you will need a drill and a bit the same size as the cord, a utility knife and a container with a lid. Using a drill, make holes at each end of the container an inch or two from the top. Then, using a clerical knife, make an incision from the top edge of the container to the hole. Once this is done, you can twist the plastic and open it wide enough to insert the cord into the hole, leaving the ends of the plug in the middle. Then put the covers back in place to secure everything together. This type of drybox is not designed to be completely submerged in water, but it can keep rain and snow out.

Use an old inner tube

To make a dry box out of an old bicycle inner tube, all you need is the inner tube and scissors. Cut a length of six to eight inches from the tube and place it on one end of the cord. Connect the other end and pull the tubing over the connection. If the fit is loose, you can use a zip tie to press the ends of the inner tube tightly against the cord on each side of the plug. The advantage of this method is that it will withstand the movement a little better. around it you have a plug somewhere harder to get to.

Use a ziplock bag

If you don’t have extra containers or tubing, you can also use a plastic bag to keep your plugs dry. Using a well-made ziplock bag and wrapping the connection well with zip ties or rubber bands can help in a pinch. However, make sure that your bag is not being dragged or stepped on, as this can create holes in the bag, allowing moisture to seep inside. If this happens, your dry bag will turn into a wet bag and moisture will get close to the connector, potentially causing damage.

Use electrical tape or shrink wrap

For low-tech dry plug connections, you can wrap the plugs with duct tape, making sure the connection is snug before wrapping – if the tape slips between the two sides of the plug, it can heat up over time and cause a fire or short circuit. You can also use shrink wrap for this method, taking the same precautions. The downside to this method is that you have to break your security layer to turn off the light, so it’s not a functional way if you need to turn the light on and off periodically. Also, this is a one-time system, not a system that you can reuse every year.


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