EZTIPS TECHNICAL GUIDE TO ...

LED HOLIDAY LIGHTING

Get the LED out this holiday season.


The best time (and safest time) for hanging outdoor holiday lights is before weather turns wet and cold. If you’ve been buying, rebuying, and hanging traditional incandescent lights, it’s time to upgrade to brighter, more energy efficient LED’s.

Here are tips and products to help you make the “switch.”

10 minute guide winterize your home and business

STEP 1: CREATE A PLAN

Coordinate before you decorate.


Design & Measure

Before you break out the lights and ladder, first plan your decorations.

  • Design how you want to light your home or building.
  • Run a tape measure along the base of the building, along turns and corners, and total the distance.
  • Measure doors, door frames, window frames, peaks, roof lines, shrubs, trees, walkways, and/or columns.
  • Record and total measurements to find amount of lights needed.

Plan for Power

To find the amount of power cord you’ll need, measure from your outdoor or indoor power outlets to the beginning of your design.

You’ll need to use heavy-duty extension cords running to a 120-volt electrical outlet, protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

This type of outlet will shut down the circuit if there is too much current. If you don't have a GFCI outlet, a qualified electrician can install one outdoors, or you can use a portable outdoor unit.


GOOD TO KNOW

When stringing around shrubs or trees, you'll need about 100 lights for every 1.5 feet of vertical height.

Ex. 6 ft. tree = 400 feet of lights

You can also use evenly-spaced LED Net Lights for easy landscape decoration.

fox with lights


STEP 2: CHOOSE YOUR LIGHTS & SUPPLIES

(Hint: LED’s are the way to go) ...

Use your total measured distance to calculate the number of light strings and extension cords you’ll need.

Here are the most common types of holiday lights, and why we recommend LED’s.


spotlights & floodlights

Spotlights & Floodlights

Want to go stringless? Mount and direct floodlights or spotlights — in festive colors like red or green or stencils — toward the front of your building.

Feature your wreaths, trees, or other non-light decor using less energy and setup time.

Incandescent Miniatures

Incandescent Miniatures (“Minis”)

A popular choice, because they are inexpensive and use only 1.5-2.5 volts. They come in strings, ropes, icicles, and nets (for decorating trees and shrubs).

The downside: strings run in series, so if one bulb or socket fails, you can lose a whole string.

C-7 and C-9 Incandescent Lights

C-7 and C-9 Incandescent Lights

These old-school, screw in, 2.5-inch tall, 5-watt bulbs (C-7) and three-inch tall, 10-watt lights (C-9) are larger and more robust than mini-lights.

Because of those extra watts, they also burn hotter and consume twice the energy as minis. But they remain lit even when individual bulbs fail.

LED Lights

LED Lights

LED holiday lights come in various styles and colors. They may be more expensive, but they are also brighter, don’t heat up while lit, and use less energy.

LED’s are also tougher and last up to 25 times longer than other bulbs.



LED Lights vs. Incandescent Lights

Aside from using up to 75% less energy, there are many reasons why LED lights are the go-to for holiday decorators (57% now prefer LEDs). Here’s just a few.


MINISC-7 / C-9 INCANDESCENTSLED LIGHTS
Power consumption (per bulb)0.5 to 1 Watt5 to 10 Watts~0.1 Watt
# of sets you can connect together3-5 sets3-5 sets40-50+ sets, depending on string size
Bulb temperature (during use)Warm to hotVery hotCool
Bulb burnout effect on stringIf one Mini burns out, a whole string goes darkWill remain lit even when individual bulbs failBulbs don’t burn out, just get dimmer over time
String life (avg. hrs. rated life)1-2 seasons (2,500 hours)1-2 seasons (3,000 hours)10,000 to 100,000 hours

LED HOLIDAY LIGHT TYPES


Traditional LED Lights
Traditional LED Lights
  • Colored
  • White
  • Warm White

Shop Traditional Lights

Pinecone LED Lights
Pinecone LED Lights
  • Colored
  • White
  • Warm White

Shop Pinecone Lights

Strawberry LED Lights
Strawberry LED Lights
  • Colored
  • White
  • Warm White

Shop Strawberry Lights

Concave LED Lights
Concave LED Lights
  • Colored
  • White
  • Warm White

Shop Concave Lights

LED Rope Lights
LED Rope Lights
  • White
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Orange

Shop Rope Lights

LED Net Lights
LED Net Lights
  • Warm White

Shop Net Lights



STEP 3: DECORATE SAFELY

Coordinate before you decorate.



Inspect Your Lights

Look for broken or missing bulbs or worn wiring, and replace them. Test each string before you start hanging.


Secure Your Ladder

If you’re using a ladder or stepladder to hang your lights, place on flat, secure ground and lean at a safe angle for climbing. If you must lean against gutters, put a short piece of 2x4 inside the gutter to reinforce it.


Hang and Plug In Lights

Grab some basic hand tools — screwdriver, mallet, and pliers — put on some work gloves, and put your lights in a storage bucket.

Use plastic clips to hold lights along gutters, trim, and roof. Don’t use nails, tacks or staples — they can pierce cords and create an electrical hazard. Wrap strings around columns and plants. Plug into a switch-controlled outlet and/or automatic timer, and make sure the circuit is rated to handle the combined amperes of all your lights.

Once all lights are plugged in, turn ‘em on! Stand back and admire your festive handiwork.




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