Tips for Purchasing Christmas Lights

October 1, 2020

Here are a few of our favorite tips for purchasing lights this Season. Many of them are common sense. Have something to add? Share it in the comments below.

Tip #1

Assess and troubleshoot what you already have before heading to the checkout cart.

Pull out every string of lights, the tree topper, all the bulbs, and all the cords. Early in the year before the Season looms, take a few minutes to do the following checks:

  1. Gently untangle and strings that have inexplicably tangled themselves up in their storage boxes and totes.
  2. Examine everything visually before plugging in. Is the insulation unworn and unbroken? Are glass bulbs unbroken?
  3. Plug in light strings individually to verify all the bulbs work.
  4. Replace any glass bulbs that have burned out.
  5. Plug bulbs into cords to verify that everything is lit.

See these articles for more troubleshooting articles:

Tip #2

Measure and add a little extra to account for swag in the light strings.

Using our handy how many lights should I put on my tree calculator choose your level of light from a few simple strings to way over the top, decide how many strings of lights you’ll need for your indoor and outdoor trees.

Measure along your roofline from the ground level. We suggest you walk along your roofline and estimate distances with your feet firmly on the lawn. Add 10-15% to your measurement to account for any small variations in final distances.

Measure around flowerbeds, along driveways, and sidewalks. Add 10-15% to your true lines to allow for a slight amount of dip or swag in your installation. Don’t forget to measure shrubs and bushes for net lights.

Here are a few articles to help you estimate the amount of lighting needed for your project:

Tip #3

Make a choice about going a pre-wire string or bulbs and cords approach

Each approach has its own pros and cons! Here is a quick article to help you choose what’s best for your display.

Tip #4

Think hard and choose your favorite color – including the choice of white!

After you measure and choose your light format, what color?

Traditional white?

All blue? All pink? Multi?

Even with white, you can chose between warm white incandescent light or the pure or warm white of LED bulbs and strings.

Trouble choosing? Keep these tips in mind:

Will you be mixing LED and white incandescent glass bulbs? If so, consider using warm white LED lights to blend in with your traditional more yellow-based lights.

Mixing white with blue, green, or red? Consider keeping things bright with pure white LED lights. The current versions of this color aren’t the super-bluish color that they were when they were first developed. They are pure or “cold” in a way that paint with a drop of blue in the dye vat makes it look wonderfully wintery.

Read here for more information:

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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