Select the Right Christmas Lights
With all the varieties of lights available, choosing the perfect ones for your decorating project can be a challenge. Here is a guide to the difference between the styles and the most effective ways to use them.
MINIATURE "MINI" CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTS
Mini lights were introduced in the 1970's as a solution to the excessive power consumed by C7 and C9 lights. Their lower wattage, brilliant sparkle and diversity make them an ever popular choice.
The quality of Christmas tree mini lights will dictate the life of the bulbs; the less expensive the string, the shorter the life. Inexpensive string lights only last about 300 hours, plan on replacing them every year. The better quality mini lights can last up 2,000 hours but will cost you more.
Most Christmas tree mini lights come in strands of 50 or 100 bulbs but other choices are available. Some string lights are designed to stay lit even if a bulb burns out (this is called "wired in parallel"). Be sure and replace the burned bulb promptly as the voltage to the remaining bulbs will increase and reduce the life of the string lights.
DECORATING WITH CHRISTMAS TREE MINI LIGHTS
The important thing to remember with incandescent Christmas tree lights is to never connect more than three strings together.
Mini lights are suitable for both indoor and outdoor decorating. They are mostly used in indoor trees, outdoor shrubs, around tree trunks, as window borders and as accents to other decorations. Basically anytime a large amount of small points of light are needed for the desired affect.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEEN C7 and C9 LIGHTS
C7 and C9 bulbs are generally considered traditional outdoor Christmas lights. Their large size makes them easily visible and bright.
The difference between C7 and C9 bulbs is mainly the size of the bulb and the wattage. They are available in either 2,000 hour life (120V) or 3,000 hour life (130V). C7 light bulbs are about 2 inches while C9 light bulbs are about 3 inches. Wattages vary anywhere from 3.5 watts up to 10 watts depending on the bulb size.
C7 and C9 lights use screw type sockets so bulb replacement is easy.
DECORATING WITH C7 & C9 LIGHTS
Because these lights are large, they make an excellent choice for decorating large outdoor trees and shrubs, building perimeters, fences or anywhere that a "classic" holiday look is desired.
Once again, you can only connect up to three strings together at once.
Rope lights are the "new kid on the block" in holiday light choices. Essentially rope lights are just mini lights encased in a PVC jacket. There are a multitude of colors available and a variety of lengths making them an easy and affordable choice. Retail stores generally sell them in lengths of 3, 6 and 8 feet. Rope lights can also be purchased in spools of 50 and 150 feet for larger projects. Rope lights sold in spools can be field cut at 3 or 6 foot intervals for custom looks and designs.
DECORATING WITH ROPE LIGHTS
Rope lights are an excellent choice for creating figures, designs and as accents for walkways, handrails and borders. Their flexibility makes them perfect for creating shapes like snowmen, reindeer, wreaths and the like. They are limited only by your imagination.
One thing to note with rope lights is that if one bulb burns out, then a section anywhere from 3 to 6 feet will also burn out. If you have a long continuous run you can splice in a new length. If you've purchased short lengths then the entire rope light will have to be replaced.
The quality of the rope light will determine its dependability, so as you evaluate your choices bear in mind that the less expensive rope lights may have to be replaced much sooner than their more expensive counterparts.
Decorating with lights is the most effective way to create a festive atmosphere any time of the year. We're all accustomed to seeing Christmas lights in the winter and Halloween lights in fall, but string lights can be used for any special occasion. Select the right string lights for your project and you'll be pleased with the brilliance and sparkle they give to any holiday or event.
Select Quality Outdoor christmas lights
Quality outdoor Christmas lights make any home look picture perfect. There is something magical about a home festively decorated and lit. It may surprise you to know that there are many different types of Christmas lights available to choose between. This article can help you sort through all the sales jargon and select the best outdoor Christmas lights for your home.
1.Become an energy saver and choose some LED Christmas lights. These lights can be lit for up to 200,000 hours. In fact, you may never have to change the bulb as long as you hang them for decoration. LED lights also safe money in energy costs. In fact, they cost about 10% of the cost to run traditional Christmas lights.
2.Save a bit of money right off the bat, but pay a bit later in the energy costs by getting the traditional C7 or C9 Christmas lights. If you don't have the extra cash to spend right away on LED, traditional lights are the way to go. Remember, though, you will pay extra on your energy bill.
3.Purchase lights with straight line construction. This means that if one light bulb burns out, the others in the strand will remain lit. Christmas lights that stay dark when one light is burned out are extremely frustrating.
4.Add some class to your home with icicle lights. Icicle lights are perfect for the neighborhood with strict rules about Christmas lights.
5.Consider purchasing tangle resistant wire. Even if you are the neatest, most organized person, Christmas lights have a tendency to tangle. By choosing tangle resistant wire, you will save yourself a lot of time and hassle the next year you dig out your decorations.