Through the Aisle We Go, NOT Laughing All the Way
The vast majority of Christmas light decorations are not accessible to the general public at local big retail stores because it's hard for big retailers to carry that kind of diversity only one month a year. So, most people trudge up and down store aisles seeing a lot of similar products, often trying to be the cheapest and you get what you pay for. The Christmas light displays go up quick around Halloween and they vanish as fast, often before Christmas day.
Thousands of Bright Options Year Round
At Christmas Lights, Etc., we have thousands of lights and decorations we sell year round. We have lights for every budget and project whether you're doing something simple or whether you're a commercial decorator doing a large public display. As you might have guessed, we love Christmas lights and we sell some of the best lights on planet earth that are brand specified.
So Many Christmas Lights?! Where do I even begin?
Don't worry. You're not alone. Christmas lights and all around Christmas decorating are such diverse creative pursuits that thousands of lighting products have been produced for almost every possible creative display. It's actually quite amazing, but it's also a little daunting. So we captured five very important tips to help you before you begin.
5 Christmas Light Tips You Should Consider Before Buying
1. Very Simple, but Very Long-Term Plan
If you like decorating but don't have the budget to create the next Clark Griswold house, take the time to create a small, but very long-term plan. Christmas uniquely lets people share their own style and spirit. Use that to your advantage and invest in lights and decor that you know you can use multiple ways and that will last for multiple seasons. In the end, you'll save money and have better options to work with as you create new ways of decorating.
2. LEDs vs Incandescent Myth
More than 60% of Christmas enthusiasts now prefer LED lights, according to a nationwide survey conducted by Christmas Lights, Etc of nearly 2,000 people. What does that mean for you? If you're on the fence about going all LED it's ok. Light choice is a personal preference and some people love LEDs while others love vintage incandescent Christmas lights. Both options are fine, you just have to plan differently for each longer term.
3. Outdoor Christmas Lighting Woes
Every outdoor space is unique and your vision should not be compromised. Make sure your Christmas products will hold up in the weather. Moisture and electricity don't mix. Look for indoor/outdoor rated lights and invest in accessories that keep your products looking good and well conditioned, like hanging clips and stakes. When the siren's song of the staple gun begins to sing, be strong, and think about the benefits of using your lights for a long time!
4. Determining Quality Christmas Lights
How do you tell what's quality or not? Quality products come from quality companies that specialize in that one style of product and who have repeat customers year over year. This doesn't happen by accident and Christmas Lights, Etc is proud to be the most shopped online Christmas lights store in America precisely because so many people decide to come back to us year over year for nearly 20 years. We sell thousands of quality products and they are represented by the amount of people that choose us over hundreds of other companies selling products that seem the same, but aren't. That means something to us. We stand by our products because we stand by our customers. That's quality.
5. Life, Fun & Gifts
There's a creative revolution in the U.S. as more people learn how to tackle DIY and home decorating projects. The same applies to Christmas. People want to make holiday displays that make them smile -- and that make others smile too. It's one way we share Christmas spirit. Whether it's a mega Christmas light display or just something simple, everyone can participate in their own way and on their own budget. It's one of the many things that makes Christmas decorating so special. Diversity, creativity and sharing the spirit in your own way. Remember...it's ok to have fun and to share that gift with others too!
Quick Guide To Christmas Light Products
It's good to be an informed shopper. This quick guide should help.
Christmas light bulbs - the C7 and C9 bulbs are the most synonymous with Christmas displays. They are available as individual bulbs or can be hardwired into light sets. Globe bulbs are also used for Christmas displays and the most common sizes are G30, G40 and G50. All bulbs come in a variety of finishes, including: transparent, opaque, frosted and faceted. Most commonly all these bulbs come in either the E12 candelabra base size or the intermediate E17 base size -- both of which are smaller than a standard household bulb socket size.
Christmas string light sets - a huge diversity exists in string light sets ranging from mini lights, to speciality shape lights to larger C7 and C9 light sets. Wire colors can come in green, white, black and brown and typically the wire gauge is similar except in commercial sets where it may be thicker. Light sets can be small: as little as 10 lights. Or they can be large: over 100 lights on one light string. Different applications call for different string lights. For example, small decorations where you do want extension cords benefit from small battery-operated Christmas light strings. However, if you wanted to wrap a large outdoor tree, opting for an LED light set lets you connect numerous sets end to end without having power concerns. String lights commonly come in different light sizes, including: 5MM, T5, M5, G12, C6, C7 and C9.
LED Christmas lights - more than 60% of Christmas enthusiasts now prefer LED lights over incandescent, according to a recent Christmas Lights, Etc survey of close to 2,000 people nationwide. They are much more versatile, durable and efficient than incandescent lights, which is why people are able to do increasingly more impressive displays. There are multiple types of LED lights including: The older DIP diode style LEDs common in the last decades worth of Christmas LED products. There are also newer SMD LEDs, which are surface mounted and akin to LED TV technology. These are growing in popularity quickly due to their variety and flexibility. RGB LEDs are also popular and it stands for Red-Green-Blue. Often times you can switch between the colors or blend the colors together. LEDs are highly efficient, bright and colorful. While they do cost more on average, they save on electricity, extra power cords and extra accessories like plugs and taps.
Commercial Christmas light sets - often come with better light bulbs and offer the ability to customize bulbs over time because they are replaceable. The LED versions of these light sets can be connected at large lengths, which is a plus pathways, driveways, rooflines, streets and other large contour areas around landscaping.
Icicle lights - popular on gutters and fences, icicle lights come in a lot of varieties and are made with different drop lengths to create an icicle effect. Some twinkle, some come in wild colors and other are made to look like live icicles.
Net lights - shaped like a grid, net lights are popular to use on bushes or to wrap trees. They are also used to create light walls and light ceilings for walkways and other speciality displays.
Star lights - at first, you may think this is self explanatory but it goes far deeper than you may realize. While most think about 5-point stars there are actually many variations of star lights.
Christmas Snowflake Lights - come in a large array of designs and can be made with rope light or LED strip light. Some snowflakes are multicolor and animated. While they are commonly hung, many people also place them flat surfaces to create 2D displays on roofs or walls.
Christmas Silhouette Motifs and Yard Art - popular Christmas icons, scenes and characters adorn the Christmas motif lights family. From Santa on a motorcycle to Christmas trains these are popular as stand alone display items or used in groups.
Fairy lights - are very small LEDs on a flexible wire. These are great for small decorations and can be shaped to fit most settings.
Twinkle lights and color change lights - are popular because they add a little sparkle or animation to Christmas decor scenes. Twinkling often refers to a pattern where specific lights simply turn on and off or dim at certain intervals. Color changing lights on the other hand may blink between color or smoothly transition between colors depending on the style.
Garland lights -are a thicker, intertwined series of string lights that are popular to hang on mantles, wrap around columns or two outline doors and railings.
LED strip light - is commonly used in general house or business lighting but because it is very flexible, it can be used for DIY Christmas light decorators that create their own shapes and displays.
Lighted branches - is a very diverse family of products that are great for decorators creating botanical arrangement or scenes that use additional Christmas foliage. With the use of bows and other complementary decor, lighted branches can also be used in Christmas trees like floral picks and sprays.
Walkway Christmas trees - are typically outdoor rated trees that come with a small spike that can be inserted into the ground. Easy to setup, festive and great for displays and contours.
LED light show trees - are shaped more like tree cones and are pre-programmed with a series of light animations. They are great for yard displays and often look good in groups. They can be 5' tall or up to 12'.
Christmas light balls - true to the name, it's a sphere shaped with lights, but there are several varieties, including fairy light balls that fold flat, LED mini light balls that fold flat and more commercial grade Christmas light balls that have heavier duty frames. Light balls can be hung or placed on the ground.
Christmas topiary animals with lights - it is common for people to display animals, like deer during Christmas. These animals can be made with garland or material like grapevine and then lit from the inside out.