Save with Energy-Efficient Christmas Lights

Nov 15, 13 Save with Energy-Efficient Christmas Lights

One of the best things about the holiday season is the warm and cozy feeling that seems to charge the air during the winter months.  Although this might be our bias talking, we at like to think those joyful feelings are somewhat attributed to holiday lighting setting the mood. In some households, illuminating the neighborhood by putting up Christmas lights has become a tradition. However, using traditional incandescent Christmas lights can not only have an impact on your wallet, but on the environment as well. So, before you buy more light strings and power up that holiday display you have planned, here are some of the benefits of switching to LED (light-emitting diode) Christmas lights.

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How to Create Light Paintings

Nov 01, 13 How to Create Light Paintings

Using light to create luminous lines in photography is not necessarily a new concept. For as long as there have been film cameras, people have been able to capture streaks of light using long exposures and slow shutter speeds. As digital photography has evolved, light painting has become increasingly popular, with artists using the medium to create stunning images and animation. Light painting has turned into a full blown art form that is evolving just as quickly as the technology being used to create it.

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Do Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Save Money?

Oct 18, 13 Do Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Save Money?

Let’s face it. As lighting efficacy standards continue to change, traditional incandescent bulbs are struggling to keep up. While incandescent bulbs themselves are not being outlawed, they are being made to abide by the guidelines of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. This congressional mandate states that light bulbs now need to use 25 percent less energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. households could save nearly $6 billion on energy costs in the year 2015 by following these standards alone. In this post, we’ll show you why making the switch to energy-efficient lighting is worth considering and how it can save you money!

LEDs and CFLs

For over a century, incandescent light bulbs have been the go-to lighting source for household fixtures. Their inexpensive price tag and classic shape have made many people hesitant to give unfamiliar bulbs like LEDs (light emitting diodes) and CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) a try. However, these bulb types not only meet EISA requirements, but will produce the same amount of lumens (brightness) for less wattage and, therefore, consume less electricity.

70029_82f0a5df4033ee08c7e03b44e1a2ddfcf13f76e7_original_x_323_1343290679CFLs are simply smaller versions of the fluorescent tubes you see in businesses and warehouses. Typically, a CFL uses about one-fourth of the wattage of a comparable incandescent and uses 85 percent less energy to illuminate itself. CFLs can also last up to ten times longer than a standard incandescent with a 1,000 hour lifespan. Some of you may be put off by using this twisty light in fixtures with an exposed bulb, but don’t worry! CFLs now come in a variety of shapes, including the classic A-shape of an incandescent.

71684_f983c86562f4a7f46d6fbc109c58920dce0443c1_original_x_323_1344124206LED bulbs are becoming increasingly popular for their low energy use in everything from residential lighting applications to street lighting.  These lamps not only use up to 85 percent less energy, but can last anywhere from 25 to 30 years because they have no filament to burn out. Although current LEDs on the market tend to be on the pricey side, they will eventually make up for their initial cost in annual energy savings.

“How Much Money Will I Save?”

So, how much money can you save by switching to energy-efficient light bulbs? It all depends on how much your utility company charges you per Kilowatt hour (kWh) and the wattage of your bulbs. By following a simple formula, you can compare what your current bulbs and energy-saving alternatives would cost you annually.

Let’s say you have 40 light bulb sockets in your home all using 60-watt incandescent light bulbs. Let’s also assume that you use 2,000 hours of electricity from these fixtures annually and that your utility company charges you $0.11 per Kilowatt hour.

40 (Number of Bulbs) x 60 (Wattage of Bulbs) = 2400 Watts (Total Wattage)

2400 (Total Wattage) / 1000 = 2.4 Kilowatts

2.4 (Kilowatts) x 2000 (Hours of Usage Annually) = 4800 Kilowatt/Hr

4800 (Kilowatt/Hr) x $0.11 (Cost of Energy per kWh) = $528.00 per year

Now, let’s say you are planning to switch your original bulbs out with 14-watt CFL bulbs that are 60-watt incandescent equivalents. Using the same information, such as the hours of usage and the amount you are charged per Kilowatt hour, it would look something like this:

40 (Number of Bulbs) x 14 (Wattage of Bulbs) = 560 Watts

560 (Total Wattage) / 1000 = 0.56 Kilowatts

0.56 (Kilowatts) x 2000 (Hours of Usage Annually) = 1120 Kilowatt/Hr

1120 (Kilowatt/Hr) x $0.11 (Cost of Energy per kWh) = $123.20 per year

As you can see, the annual cost of running incandescent bulbs ($528) compared to an energy-efficient alternative ($123.20) can be substantial. Also, because incandescent bulbs have a much shorter life than CFLs and LEDs, replacing them will only add to your annual energy costs. While replacing all of your incandescent bulbs with these energy-savers might cost you more initially, the amount of money you save on your energy bills over time will more than make up the difference!


If you have any questions about our selection of energy-efficient lighting, leave us a comment or connect with us on FacebookTwitter, or Google Plus!

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Halloween Lighting Tips

Oct 04, 13 Halloween Lighting Tips

Crisp autumn air and changing leaves can only mean that Halloween is quickly approaching. Before you know it, all of your neighbors will have set up their impressive graveyard displays accompanied by a full-blown light show. You don’t have to take it quite that far, but a few lights here and there from our Halloween lighting section could make all the difference! So, take a break from constructing that super amazing Halloween costume you’ve been planning for months, and read some of these simple tips on how to turn your humble abode into a festive All Hallow’s Eve dwelling.

What is it about haunted houses that make them so scary? Sure, the demented clowns and large men in masks running after you with a chainsaw are a big factor, but the abundance of black lighting sets the perfectly creepy mood.  Replace indoor or outdoor lighting with black lights to make your visitor’s costumes glow. Swapping out your existing bulbs with colored red, green, or orange bulbs will also work just as well.

DIY Ghost Yard Decoration

DIY Ghost Yard Decoration

We agree that decking out your yard with fake tombstones and other elaborate decorations can cost a pretty penny. Save yourself some cash and take the ever-popular DIY route. In a previous blog post, we guided you through the quick and easy steps of making a DIY Halloween ghost yard decoration using only a tomato cage, fabric, paint, and lights (preferably ones with the ability to flash).

If you want a decorating activity that the whole family can participate in, try some of these kid-friendly DIY activities for Halloween: Snap an 8-12 hour green glow stick, insert it into a white balloon and inflate. Once it’s tied and closed, use a black Sharpie to draw anything from black cats to ghostly faces. Once you’ve made as many as you want, use transparent tape to stick the balloons to a wall and dim the lights.  Or save and clean out old milk cartons and fill them with battery-operated Christmas lights. Using a black Sharpie, draw ghoulish faces to create glowing ghosts that will be a charming decoration, both inside and outside of your home.

LED String Lights

LED String Lights

As explained above, Christmas lights aren’t just for, well, Christmas. They can be used for a multitude of holidays and special occasions, including Halloween. Orange and purple LED string lights are ideal for wrapping around a black decorative wreath or framing a door or spider web-covered window to create a colorful and inviting display for trick-or-treaters. Rope light in hues of green, orange, and purple will also create a spooky atmosphere during a costume party or lining the railings of your porch.

If you have questions about any of our Halloween lighting products, leave us a comment. Or, share pictures of your spooky decorations with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus!

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Why You Should Use Battery-Operated Christmas Lights

Sep 20, 13 Why You Should Use Battery-Operated Christmas Lights

While decorating with Christmas lights can be fun, the limitations caused by a far-away power outlet can be a hassle. Instead of getting tangled up in clunky extension cords, switch out some of your plug-in string lights with battery-operated Christmas lights. With the installation of a few batteries and the flip of a switch, these handy lights will allow you to add festive illumination to areas in your home without a power source. Here at, we have a great selection of indoor and outdoor battery-operated Christmas lights that give you the freedom to decorate without worrying about the location of the nearest outlet.

InvisiLite LED Light Strings

InvisiLite LED Light Strings

One of the best things about battery-powered light strings is that they allow you to isolate your decorating to smaller projects and areas of the home. Powered by only a discrete battery pack, indoor/outdoor wide angle mini LEDs are perfect for decorating wreaths, centerpieces, and fireplace mantles. For wiring that is a little less noticeable, these InvisiLite LED lights feature 360-degree illumination embedded in flexible, ultra-thin wiring. Cool to the touch, LED string lights work well against synthetic fabrics and greenery.


LED Mini String Lights

In case you didn’t already know, LED light bulbs have been proven to consume far less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, including Christmas lights. Battery-powered LED string lights consume less battery power and have a much longer life than traditional incandescent Christmas lights. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it can cost you up to twice as much to run incandescent mini lights as it would to run LED mini lights 12 hours a day for 40 days. Not only are LED lights safer due to their cooler temperature, but they are made from sturdy, epoxy lenses instead of glass, making them much more resistant to breakage.

5 Star LED Path Markers

5 Star LED Path Markers

Outdoor Christmas lighting can be even more of an inconvenience when it comes to finding a power source. Featuring a built-in controller, these outdoor battery-operated LED path markers will provide a safe and brightly-lit pathway for you and your guests. Sold in a set of five, the path markers automatically cycle through light-show functions and change colors as they fade, chase, or twinkle. For a glimpse at how these path markers work, click here.

If you have any questions about our battery-powered Christmas lights, leave us a comment. Or, if you have any pictures of your Christmas decorations, share your pictures with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus!

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