Untangle the Maze of Planning Outdoor Christmas Lights
For most homeowners, outdoor Christmas lights are a joy to behold hanging on other people’s houses. The thought of actually hanging Christmas lights, however, during the busy holiday season is daunting.
Many consumers still purchase the traditional glass incandescent Christmas lights, which are generally less expensive. In the bigger bulb sizes (C7 and C9) incandescent burn brighter than any other lights, but they also burn the highest levels of wattage than any other bulbs. They cost substantially more to operate and also last fewer hours. The big incandescent bulbs can also blow your circuit breaker far faster if you hang more than a few strings. But it would take several hundred strings of large bulb LED Christmas lights (light emitting diodes) before overloading a typical outlet. And it doesn’t matter how many strings of solar lights you use, since they require no plugs or electricity.
As selections for LED and solar outdoor Christmas lights increase with innovative colors, styles and luminosities, you can get creative in your design choices. If you still prefer the old fashioned incandescent, integrate just a few strings of them into your outdoor decoration along with several LED or solar lights. Or use all LED, all solar or a combination of the two. You will use less energy and your lights will last over years instead of just one season.
LED Christmas Lights
LED Christmas lights make installation easy and efficient for homeowners. You can usually string over 1300 feet of connecting lights from one standard outlet. Choose high quality or commercial LED lights to ensure connectors are moisture-proof.
LED lights use up to 90% less energy a fraction of the wattage of traditional outdoor Christmas lights.
LED lights are also safer. The bulbs, encased in flameproof plastic, remain cool unlike the hot surfaces of incandescent glass lights.
LED Christmas lights also come in a growing spectrum of brands, colors and sizes from mini lights to large bulbs and icicle strings to net designs.
Solar Christmas Lights
With no electrical cords attached to solar Christmas lights, they are perfect for hanging in out-of-the-way or hard-to-reach places, like trees and eaves. Solar lights tend to have a softer glow, but many solar-LED lights on the market emit brilliant tones and colors.
Solar outdoor Christmas lights usually cost more, but as quality and selections improve, prices come down. The only cost to operate solar Christmas lights is the battery. Plus, you never have to think about turning them on or off or placing them on timers.
Invest in high-grade solar lights to ensure long lasting operation. Look for features including higher amperage capacity, batteries with greater temperature range and waterproof casings with tempered glass, which won’t yellow.
Solar Christmas lights, like plug-in LEDs, come in an array of styles including mini-lights, large bulbs, icicle strings, nets and other specialty designs.
Quick Safety Installation Tips for Your Outdoor Christmas Lights
By using energy-efficient outdoor Christmas lights, you will not likely need to worry about increasing circuit power in your breaker box. But you will need to protect your electrical connections.
Use only extension cords with three-prong grounded plugs designed for outdoor use. All electrical connections should be above ground away from rain or snow and protected by weatherproof covers.
Electrical codes require that all plugs for outdoor Christmas lights be protected by a portable outdoor Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) available at most hardware stores. Contact an electrician to ensure proper installation before hooking it up.
Hang Your Outdoor Christmas Lights
Once you have the hang of understanding quality outdoor Christmas lights, the prospect of hanging them is easier to envision. You can make your home shine for the holidays without getting tangled up in too many tasks with cumbersome Christmas lights. Even just a few LED or solar Christmas lights around your doorway, pathway and windows is easy to string and adds joy to your home through the season.
• Modern outdoor Christmas lights are increasingly easier and safer to install, last more hours and save substantially on energy.
• Find high quality strings of LED (light emitting diode) or solar Christmas lights for your outdoor Christmas lights.
• Incandescent glass Christmas lights are generally less expensive but use vastly more wattage than LED lights.
• Big bulb incandescent lights can blow your circuit breaker if you hang several strings.
• It would take several hundred strings of large bulb LED Christmas lights (light emitting diodes) before overloading a typical outlet.
• Quality solar Christmas lights use no electricity and cost nothing to operate but the batteries.
• When shopping for quality solar outdoor Christmas lights, look for higher amperage, batteries with greater temperature range and waterproof casings.
• For electric LED or incandescent outside Christmas lights, use only extension cords with three-prong grounded plugs designed for outdoor use.
• Use a combination of outdoor Christmas lights for energy savings and design. Combine just a few incandescent with LED and solar lights or only LED or solar.