Whether you decorate for Christmas inside, outside, or both, choosing the best Christmas lights for your household doesn’t have to be a hassle. All it takes is knowing what’s out there, which you can find out right here with this quick guide!
Types and Styles
Some Christmas lights are designed specifically with outdoor or indoor compatibility in mind whereas others can work in either setting, standing up against the harsh weather conditions of winter while still maintaining secure electrical connections. Bulbs can come in a variety of sizes, including novelty, dome, mini, as well as C3, C5, C6, C7, and C9—the last of which vary by size—to suit the different parts of a display. They also come in various styles and colors, some of which include the following:
- LED: last 20 times longer compared to traditional lights, use less energy, remain cool to the touch.
- Incandescent: traditional bulb options, one color per bulb, may heat up after prolonged use.
- White: can be warm, clear, or have twinkling, frosted look.
- Red: festive, classic accent, adds warmth.
- Blue: adds contrast to standard colors, more LED options.
- Multi: bright, lively choice, complement arrangement.
- Net: easy installation, size variety, good for bushes and trees.
- String: often less expensive, offer all bulb styles, can connect many strands for larger decoration.
- Solar: work in cloudy weather, automatic on and off, set as flashing light or steady.
Installing Christmas Lights
To start planning Christmas light displays, think about your decorating goals. Think about outdoor lighting, but consider different zones for larger light projects based on where your electrical outlets are. As well, organize interior lighting projects by individual rooms. A few tips for undertaking this endeavor include the following:
- Measure your chosen areas for hanging lights to make sure there are enough strands for full coverage, and then consider time and budget constraints.
- Map your outlets’ locations while planning how many strands you’ll need for every zone. If one area doesn’t have an available outlet, consider battery packs or solar lights.
- To line an average home’s eaves, try starting with 60 feet of string lights plus an extra 10 feet for each awning. Incorporate other items like inflatable or light-up outdoor decorations into the planning if necessary.
- If you have no installed GFCI outlets, consider getting some for additional safety.
- Consider a light timer for automatically turning decorations off and on to reduce electrical problems and conserve your utilities bill.
- Christmas trees: For thick trees, try using 50 standard C7 lights or 100 mini lights per vertical foot or half that for skinnier trees.
To ensure your Christmas lights are installed safely, here are a few quick tips:
- Don’t overload extension cords or electrical outlets—consult your manufacturer’s instructions for stringing together multiple strands.
- Don’t connect incandescent lights and LED lights.
- Avoid connecting different light strands together on the same outlet or circuit, such as a C7 incandescent light strand with a dome-light strand.
- Test lights before installing them to ensure they’re working. Review all the wires and cords, disposing of any cords or lights with signs of wear or damage.
- Only use outdoor lights for outside light displays. Use electrical tape to protect connected plugs from the weather.
- Unplug lights whenever you sleep or leave. Consider light timers for turning lights off and on at certain times.
- Have a partner whenever using a ladder for preventing accidents, and don’t set ladders on ice, snow, slick surfaces, or throw rugs.
- Don’t run cords alongside heavy-traffic areas or beneath rugs.
To store your Christmas lights, all of which must be dry beforehand, wrap them with a light spool that’s designed for storage and set them in a suitable storage bag, bin, or sturdy cardboard tube. Check for nicks, cuts, and similar damage while winding lights, discarding any strands with damage. Then, store them somewhere dry, such as an indoor closet, rather than somewhere where moisture levels may fluctuate throughout the year (basement, attic, storage shed).
Feel free to check out the Hipp’s Help store for any home improvement needs or supplies for projects. We offer FREE ship to store for all of Mountain View customers. And we also offer reasonable shipping rates for the rest of our customers throughout the country.
Copyright: jeka81 / 123RF Stock Photo