MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as Christmas lights keep neighborhoods aglow.

But all the beautiful lights could put a damper on your plans to binge-watch holiday specials on Netflix, according to a new report from the watchdog group Ofcom that says Christmas lights can hurt Wi-Fi speed.

“Everything is kind of floating in the air,” Brad Cimaglio of Skyway Techs said. “Everything is based on radio waves and frequencies.”

According to the report, about 20 percent of poor Wi-Fi performance is caused by lights and electronic gadgets in the home. Experts say electronics that generate a strong electro-magnetic field can compete for broadband frequency.

“Christmas lights are going to create a very small magnetic field,” Cimaglio said. “Very, very small.”

Cimaglio says while technically Christmas lights could affect Wi-Fi speed, the impact is generally nothing.

“The only way I could see Christmas lights affecting Wi-Fi is if you wrapped your router up in bubble wrap,” he said. “And even then it would probably still work.”

So if your house is lit up like the Griswolds this holiday season, you shouldn’t have any additional problems doing your shopping online.

Using Wi-Fi-enabled controllers or switches that turn on or off your Christmas lights could* possible have an impact on your Wi-Fi.

A good tip to keep your Wi-Fi up to speed AND save energy is just turn off any electronic devices you aren’t using–but Christmas lights like these shouldn’t be a problem.

Kate Raddatz

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