LED Christmas lights

Our last post talked about whether consumers should purchase artificial Christmas trees or go for the real thing. We thought that it would be appropriate to discuss Christmas lights in this post since it is so near Christmas. Over the past few years, LED Christmas lights have become very popular replacing the old incandescent lights and also the small C7 and C9 lights. We will do a quick review of each type and then talk about decorating your tree.

  • Incandescent
  • C7 and C9
  • LED Christmas Lights

Incandescent Christmas Tree Lights

These lights have been around for the past few years and many people will know them as mini lights.  The bulbs are quite small and utilize less energy than the larger C7 or C9 bulbs. They can get hot at times, so anyone handling them should be careful and also placement on the tree needs to take into account that they can get hot.

They come in strings of 25, or 50 bulbs and have various colors. They are good for outdoor and indoor, however it is important to read the instructions since some manufacturers designate were their strings can be used. Finding which bulb is burnt out can be a problem with some strings since when one bulb burns out, they all go out.

More expensive strings will stay lit making it easy to find the burned out bulb. One problem with these strings is that as bulbs burn out, the others share the same voltage and burn slightly hotter reducing the overall life of the string. Replace burned out bulbs as soon as you notice them. I have spent hours sometimes trying to get them to work only to give up and buy a new string, since they are so inexpensive.

C7 and C9

These are the traditional Christmas tree lights and are the size of small light bulbs. They come in a variety of colors and screw into a socket the same way their larger cousins do. They do burn hotter than the incandescent bulbs and use more energy as well, so be careful were you hang them to avoid any possibility of fire.

These bulbs are ideal for outdoors as well and if a bulb burns out, you just replace it with a new one. While the bulbs give off a pretty color, they have been falling out of favor recently due to the new LED Christmas lights that are now on the market.

LED Christmas Lights

LED Christmas Lights or Light Emitting Diode Christmas tree lights have been on the market for the past 3 or 5 years and in the past two years have offered many more colors and combinations for both indoor and outdoor use. The primary advantage of these lights is that they use far less energy than other types, so consumers really do not need to be concerned about electricity rates and the cost of turning on their lights over the Christmas period.

Consumers do need to purchase the correct lights for indoor and outdoor use and you will need to be careful about handling them. The LED Christmas Lights work by turning on a diode to give light, however they are protected by a glass or plastic cover which can break if  not handled properly.They are cool to the touch, even after having been on for many hours.

You will probably have to add more strings to get the same effect as you do with other lights and some of them are more difficult to see in natural light when they are turned on. They look beautiful at night and are advertised to last many hundreds of hours.

One negative is that they are more expensive then the older style of lights and depending on the color you choose, your LED Christmas Lights will vary in price as well.  Although they do cost more, they are supposed to last 4 or 5 times longer than regular lights and they use far less energy as well.

Every season, companies are coming out with more configurations and options with LED Christmas Lights.

Decorating your Christmas Tree

In our house hold, I have the job of getting the Christmas tree in place and then adding the lights. My wife will then add all of the other decorations. We separate these tasks due to past years frustration with the incandescent bulbs burning out and trouble finding the burned out bulb. Basically we could not be in the same room together when placing the lights on the Christmas tree.

Now with the LED Christmas Lights it is a simple task, since all of the bulbs work, they are easy to handle and obviously it goes much more quickly with an extra pare of hands helping.

We probably have enough strings to place about 700 lights on our tree and we start at the top with an angel, then going around the tree in circles adding lights gradually descending until the entire tree is covered. As you go along you may have to make adjustments in terms of spacing, however this is a great way to ensure that all of the tree is covered and there are no gaps. A quick check from outside with the lights turned on and we are ready to add all of the other decorations. I really like these new LED Christmas Lights even if they are more expensive!

Outdoor LED Christmas Lights

LED Christmas Lights come in several sizes. We use the small ones for indoor decorations and the larger ones for outdoor. We place them on a few of the shrubs around the front of our home to create that festive Christmas look to our home.

One negative that we have come across with the outdoor LED Christmas Lights is that if it snows, you may have to dust off the shrubs. The LED Christmas Lights do not generate any heat and as a result do not melt the snow around them. If you get a lot of snow, they will be buried and you just will not see them any longer.

Since they draw so little electricity, you can afford to place many LED Christmas Lights around your home both indoors and outdoors. I have them all on timers and so they are turned on and off at the correct time. Just set them up , set the timer and there is no further work to them! Have a happy festive Christmas season!

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