Do I need anything else?

August 9, 2021

A quick checklist for putting together a complete Christmas lights order.

We hear this question all year.

With an unlimited way to combine Christmas lights into a customized, personalized display – large or small – it helps to ask a few questions before completing an order.

We’ve organized questions to ask by product lines.

C7 and C9 bulbs and cords.

The style that are separately purchased and shown in this category.

  1. Do I need gilbert/vampire plugs? Plugs are required at all the places where 18 AWG cords will be cut and plugged into an outlet or extension cord. Match the color of plug and its SPT-1 or SPT-2 rating. The SPT-1 or 2 rating is related to the thickness of the insulation.

    While the color of the plug isn’t electrically critical, the plugs won’t work if they insulation ratings don’t match the wire.

    We suggest ordering a few extra plugs “just in case”.

    Why? Waiting on or shopping for plugs will delay Christmas lights installation and delay a flip the switch moment.
  2. Do all my cords and plugs match insulation ratings?

    Confirm that SPT-1 or SPT-2 ratings match for cords and bulbs.

    Why? SPT-1 plugs will not work with SPT-2 cords and vice versa.

    This is the number one reason we pull orders from the shipping queue in order to contact the customer to confirm their plug choice.
  3. Do the bulb base and cord socket sizes match?

    Check the socket size of the cords and the base size of the bulbs to make sure they are the same. As an example, if a project uses C7 bulbs (E12 bases) then cords will have to be C7 cords with E12 bases. To make this easy, we just call cords with E12 sockets C7 cords. Same for C9.

    Why? No one likes 10 boxes of C7 bulbs and 250 feet of C9 cord.
  4. Do I have enough length of cord or string lights?

    Consider adding 10-15% extra length to an estimated length of lights required for a project to compensate for swag or drop in the installation especially when lighting across spaces.

    Adding an extra few strings also allows for differences in how spirals are wound on columns and trees.

    Customers have been known to want more lights than they thought they did. It happens.

    Why? Ordering a little extra footage of lights makes allowance for variations in installation and changes in design during installation. Ten feet of unlit roofline after an afternoon of an installation, because there was a slight underestimation, is not an ideal scenario.
  5. Do I need installation hardware?

    Commercial clips used to install lights along rooflines can be hard to find locally. Save time and choose the right Christmas light clip for the project. A clip for every socket or bulb is required.

Craft Lights

  1. Did I order the correct wire color?

    The second reason we have to pull an order from the shipping queue and reach out to customers. During the busiest times of year, we try to pull orders with this type of discrepency but we may miss an errant string of lights.

    Scan the cart to make sure all the product titles contain the correct wire colors.

    Why? Everyone wants all their lights to work in projects according to design.




Shellie Gardner
Aside from throwing dinner parties that feature at least two kinds of cheese dip, Shellie's passions include travel, Mid-Century Modern furnishings and finding the perfect street taco. Has been known to snort laugh champagne.

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