Christmas Lighting Tips

Have you ever wondered what LED means? Light-emitting diode (LED) light strings are an energy-efficient alternative to incandescent light strings that save money, glow at lower temperatures and last longer than standard incandescent holiday lights. Here are the details:

  • Reduced energy costs - LED holiday lights use 75% to 90% less energy than incandescent lights.

  • Increased Safety - LED lights operate at cooler temperatures, reducing the risk of accidental fire. They also use less electricity so many strings can be used safely from the same outlet.

  • Last longer - LEDs have an operational life span of roughly 20,000 hours (enough to last for 40 holiday seasons), according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • More durable - LEDs are more durable and shock-resistant than incandescent bulbs because the bulbs are not made of glass and there are no filaments that can be damaged.

  • Longer warranties - Many LED strings come with a minimum 3-year warranty, longer than many standard light string warranties.

  • Cool features - LED holiday lights come in a variety of colors, shapes and lengths. Many LED holiday lights are dimmable, change colors or have automatic shut-off and motion control.

Along with a variety of holiday decorating tips, you’ll find a variety of styles and types of both indoor and outdoor LED holiday lights at Jerry’s. There are string icicle lights for roof edges, net lights for bushes, colored floodlights and rope lights for railings, porches, trees, doors and windows.

Outside, plan out your holiday light installation by first making a dimensioned sketch of the area of the house that you’ll be lighting. With the house sketch and list of available supplies at hand, devise a plan for lights and write up a shopping list. Buy a 16-gauge extension cord with an in-line circuit breaker and multi-outlet plug if you’re stringing many lights. You may need additional standard 16-gauge cords. “Landscape” cords are colored green to make them less visible in the grass and shrubs. Wrap all connections with electrical tape and/or cover them with a plastic bag taped to the cords to seal the ends. If you have an outdoor outlet that has covers that snap over the unused receptacles, replace the cover with a larger “in-use” type, which will protect the receptacle from the weather when it is in use. Also make sure that the receptacle is a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) type.

Use string lights, regular or icicle-style, to outline the architectural lines of your house. Slip universal-style clips under sidewall siding or the shingles at gable roof edges and snap the wires or lamps into the clips. Use gutter clips or S-hooks to hang strings of lights to the front edge of gutters.

Rather than trying to twist and wrap wires around tree and shrub branches, use reusable clips and/or various sizes of plastic cable ties.

Safety Alerts!

Make sure you stay clear of power lines when you install holiday lights.

If connecting to an inside power source, keep the window or door open slightly so the cord does not get crushed.

Inside, when adding lights to your Christmas tree, for example, work from the inside, close to the tree trunk out towards the tips of the branches. When you reach the tip of a branch, wrap your way back toward the trunk.

Mini lights and C7 Christmas lights are typically used to decorate indoor trees. There are a number of LED options in these styles of lights to choose from. Ask the experts at Jerry’s for assistance in choosing the right bulbs for your tree.

Use holiday lights throughout your home, such as LED rope lights and LED mini-lights along doorways, windows, stair railings and mantels, to add a festive look to your rooms.

Helpful Tips

Use timers to control your holiday lights so they activate only at night.

Consider using fewer lights in your holiday displays to eliminate redundant and unnecessary power use.