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Christmas Lights 101

There is just something about pulling onto a street where all the houses are lit up with Christmas lights that puts a smile on your face. Whether you are decorating your home for the first time or you are looking for new ways to spruce up your décor, there are some basic lighting options that you can look into. Here is everything you need to know about Christmas lights:

Traditional Lights or LED Lights? If you’re looking to buy new lights, you’re going to come across a few different types. The most popular are traditional incandescent lights and LED lights. Both have their pros and cons, but if you are looking to have a bright display of lights while saving you money, LED is the way to go.

In 2008, the California Energy Commission reported on the average savings that can occur by using LED lights. In their study, they used 600 lights, on for six hours a day, for a total of 30 days. Using the average cost per kilowatt hour, $0.12, traditional incandescent lights would cost $64.80, incandescent mini-lights would cost $5.51, and LED lights would cost $1.09. LED lights cost more upfront, but in the long run, they will save you boatloads of money.

String Lights – These are your classic Christmas lights. String lights are great for decorating any part of your home, inside and out! They come in numerous sets, so you can easily tailor the lights to your needs. Use them in your garland, on your tree, roofline, or around window frames. Choose from both incandescent and LED lights

Icicle Lights – Icicle lights give your house that extra Christmas flare. They come in both incandescent and LED. Most people use icicle lights along their roofline, eaves, and fences.

Net Lights – Net lights have made life easier. They save so much time! Just as their name implies, net lights give you a “sheet” of evenly spaced lights. These are great for putting over shrubs or even wrapping around tree trunks. They come in both incandescent and LED.

Rope Lights – Rope lights are great accents to any Christmas display. They are strands of LED lights encased in a flexible plastic tube. Rope lights are great for wrapping around tree trunks. They are popular for interior decorating as well.

Christmas Light Accessories
Now that you have your lights picked out, you’ll need to figure out what other accessories you’ll need. A timer is very handy and will help you control your energy costs. Gutter clips are great for hanging lights along a roofline. They work with any type of light. Of course you’ll need a ladder to hang all these lights up! If you don’t have access to a ladder, painters’ poles are a great and safe alternative.

Now that you know everything there is to know about Christmas lights, the next step is to hang them!

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