Are Your Christmas Lights Interfering with Your WiFi?

You just finished making your home look like a festive wonderland, stringing lights on the tree and anything else that you could wrap them around. You sit down on the couch, kicked back, ready to relax and admire a job well done and – what’s this? Suddenly, your internet is slow. What gives?

Can Christmas lights really slow down your WiFi? Yes.

Why do Christmas lights interfere with your WiFi?

The interference does not come from the visible lights of your holiday decor. The visible light does not mess with your WiFi because the light and wireless network are not on the same radio frequency.

The interfering culprit is the electromagnetic radiation from the wires or the LED electronics, because these components interfere with the range of radio and WiFi frequencies.

Huh?

WiFi uses radio waves. Christmas lights can emit a weak electromagnetic field. The two do not play nicely with each other.

As a result, Christmas lights can affect your WiFi signal performance. And a weak signal means a weak connection or no connection at all.

What kind of lights are the problem?

Any Christmas lights can cause some kind of inference, because of the wiring and electromagnetic field. Whether you are using the timeless string lights or modern LED lights, you might see some impact.

Have your Christmas lights and your WiFi too?

The more lights that you have, the stronger the electromagnetic field becomes. Also, if your router is too close to the lights, that can have an effect on your WiFi.

Don’t worry, you can have your cake and eat it too…or should we say that you can have your lights and WiFi, too.

There are two easy but important things to do:

  • Make sure that your lights are not plugged into the same outlet as your router.
  • Make sure your router is away from your lights (but still as centrally located as possible).

You can also run a speed test to see if your lights are an issue. Here’s what you can do:

  • Run a WiFi speed test as a benchmark
  • Put up all of your lights as you would
  • Re-run the speed test

Is there a change? If so (and depending on your Internet plan), it’s likely only a slight change. If there isn’t a change, congrats! You’re good to go. And, we bet your place looks great.

Fortunately, if you experience any network interference from your lights this holiday season, it shouldn’t be too significant. If it is significant, you might be facing another issue that needs to be fixed. You can rest assured that your decorations shouldn’t cut off your WiFi completely, but it is important to know that your Christmas lights could be the reason why your internet speeds are slower this time of year.

To make sure that your WiFi network is good to go for the holidays, check out our other article about WiFi quick fixes for the holidays. For more WiFi news and tips, check out the Actiontec blog.

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