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Types of Christmas Lights

christmas lights on a house

Christmas is a time for cheer and togetherness. A time for friends and families to spend time together and enjoy the warmth of the season. A big part of that warmth is the beautiful glow of Christmas lights. If you are looking to have your own display this holiday season, you should know what’s out there.

Mini String Lights

This type of bulb is the type you probably think of when you think of Christmas lights. They offer a couple of benefits over other types. The bulbs are generally the least expensive of all choices, easier to find and offer a brighter glow. On the downside, the mini string lights use more electricity, have a shorter lifespan and pose a larger threat of starting a fire. This type of bulb can also burst when temperatures drop below freezing.

LED Lights

Gaining traction on the mini lights are strings that feature LED lights. You can find ropes of LEDs that make for smooth curves in any design you might dream up. Mini lights also are available with LED bulbs, as are some of the larger varieties and styles of bulbs. Examples of some of the styles on the market are icicle lights, lights that look like snowflakes hanging off the edge of your home, sheets of lights to toss over a shrub and beautiful (but expensive!) snowfall strands. These are great for areas that generally don’t have snow on Christmas!

All LED lights are more expensive than incandescent bulbs and not quite as widely available. But there are many advantages. Though the initial cost is higher, LED strands cost up to 75% less to use than incandescent and they also last several years. You can piggyback four or five strands of the older style lights together on one electrical outlet, but up to 10 times that many with LEDs. And unlike incandescents, LED lights do well in the bitter cold, improving efficiency as the temperatures go lower. LED lights come in either warm glow or cool glow types.

Other Lighting Options

Of course, you can always add a lighted inflatable decoration or strings of stakes lights along a walkway to add an extra layer to your decor. You can even put up an LED projector that sticks into your yard and displays holiday-themed images on your house.

Large-Bulb Lights

Bigger lights are more common in outdoor displays and come in various connectors and actual bulb sizes. And, like the other types of lights mentioned here, you can find the larger bulbs in either incandescent or LED varieties. With so many types and configurations on the shelves, it might get a little overwhelming if you plan to set up a new display or up your game. Seeking the opinion of a professional will give you a good idea of how to get the look you want.

Even better, sign up to have the experts not only recommend your plan but also to carry it out! Then you don’t even have to climb a ladder or get out in the chill. Professionals will not only install your holiday vision but also come back when the season is done and carefully take everything down and pack it up.

christmas lights that aren't working

Why is a Section of Christmas Lights Not Working?

After spending hours coming up with a display idea and installing the lights, coming home to find a bulb or section of strands not glowing can dampen your Christmas cheer. Before you get a ladder out of the garage and start pulling on wires, read up a little on what might be happening.

Incandescent lights are wired in a series of bulbs, so if part of your string goes dark, it could be a couple of things. One, a bulb has come either partially or completely out of its socket. If your light strand is more than 50 bulbs, they were built on more than one circuit. That’s how you get just part of a string that goes out.

What To Check For

Pulling each bulb out one by one might be tempting to check whether they are working, but that can cause more harm. Take a look at each one. If it looks loose, place the bulb back into its socket and see if that does the trick.

Another possibility is that there were more connected strings than recommended. Read the rating for each strand you want to use and make sure you stay within the rating. Also, take a quick look through all the lights affected and see if any bulbs look smoked or burned out. If so, change them out and see if that works. There is a chance that the entire strand is not fixable if they have exceeded ratings. Then it will be time for new strands.

The issue could also be the wiring in the light string itself. Wiring is likely your issue if you have taken the above steps, with all the bulbs in place and with none of them smoked. The lights could be damaged by age, removal from a previous season or even squirrels. Then it’s time to invest in a new set of lights.

No matter the cause, electricity isn’t something to dismiss. You don’t want to take chances that could damage your home and put your family at risk.

LED christmas lights

How Long Do LED Christmas Lights Last?

LED lights typically have a longer life than a similar variety with incandescent bulbs. Manufacturers usually say LEDs will last between 10,000 to 100,000 hours, but that isn’t exactly a very tangible timeline for many people. If you install high-quality LEDs, you can expect to get 6 to 7 good seasons from them. People who celebrate the season all year long will get shorter use in terms of complete years
The diodes used in the LEDs might be capable of lasting 100,000 hours overall in a lab setting. The reality is that the lights live in the elements and are often stored in garages and attics, places that aren’t conducive to a long life for anything.
Using a lower-quality LED product will not yield the same results as you will get with top-quality ones. Some don’t even make it past the first season of use! Talk to a professional about how long Christmas lights last and the best bulbs to meet your Christmas needs. Hiring a pro to do the installation and removal also ensures you get the most joy out of your light display, and your holiday season.

ABC Can Make Your Home Beautiful This Holiday Season

There are a number of fun ways to spend your free time during the holiday season. One way to have more time with family and friends and let the pros at ABC Home & Commercial Services set up your holiday lights. Not only can we hang your lights safely, but we can also create your holiday lights display and take everything down at the end of the season.

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