If your Wi-Fi connection doesn’t seem to be working up to its normal standard, there are many things that could be affecting its performance…even your Christmas lights! This article will explore how things like your Christmas lights and other electronic devices can affect your Wi-Fi and how you can fix the problem.


Photo by Dschwen (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

How it Works

Wi-Fi uses radio waves, meaning that items that emit an electromagnetic field can interfere with the signal of your router. Christmas lights do emit a weak electromagnetic field; the more lights you have and the closer the lights are to your router, the higher the chances they could interfere with your Wi-Fi signal.

Other factors that can increase the amount of interference your Christmas lights cause are their age and whether they are blinking. Blinking Christmas lights cause more interference than regular Christmas lights. New LED technology lights are better for reducing the effect on Wi-Fi interference.

Testing The Theory

If you think that your Wi-FI connection is being affected by your Christmas lights, you can easily put the theory to the test. Run a simple speed test with your Christmas lights on, then turn them off and run another speed test. If you see a decrease in speed it may be due to your Christmas lights.

One test of the Christmas lights theory found that the drops weren’t noticeable. However, those with lower internet speeds already, may find they notice the reduction in speeds more.

If your connection is already slow there may be several other reasons for that, which you can solve without dampening the holiday spirit. You may want to explore your plan and make sure you haven’t gone over your data limit. Some plans have fair usage policies, which can slow down your connection if you download too much. If this is the case you may want to check out internet bundling options and switch plans. This may help reduce the effect of electronic interference on your Wi-FI.

Can Other Things Cause Interference?

While Christmas lights are one culprit of radio frequency interference, but there are likely many others in your home as well. Microwaves, baby monitors and old Bluetooth devices all make the list of common causes of Wi-Fi interference.

Keeping electronics away from your router can help to reduce the interference with your Wi-Fi. However, electronic interference may not be the only reason behind a slow internet connection or a weak Wi-Fi signal.

Properly placing your router in a position where items, such as doors and walls, are not blocking its radio waves can help maintain a strong network. Also it is good to place your router high off the floor – placing it on a shelf is best.

Christmas tree lights can interfere with your Wi-FI connection, but so do many other devices. Ultimately, the effect shouldn’t be large enough to interrupt your normal internet usage. However, if your internet was slow before you put up your Christmas lights, you may notice it more.

If you have a slow connection and you still want to be festive, then you might consider upgrading your internet plan since fair usage policies, traffic management, and data overages can all slow down your internet connection.