One of the best parts of the Christmas season? Untangling that mass of Christmas lights, climbing the ladder and creating your own lighting display year after year for all the neighbors to enjoy. But before your home will rival that of even Clark Griswold, we’ll show you how to quickly and easily transform your home into the gem of the neighborhood.
Below you’ll find a few steps that will transform your home into the talk of the town this and every Christmas.
What Kind of Lights? – First, determine what kind of lights you’ll be using. Icicle lights give the illusion of, well, icicles by utilizing varying lengths of drops, usually spaced six inches apart. Going for that classic look? Try using C7 or C9 bulbs to line your roof, or even the ridgeline of your roof for a unique touch. After deciding what kind of lights you’re going to use, you’ll need clips to hang them. We recommend using all-in-one clips, as these work with lots of types of lights (for a demonstration of these clips, see the video below).
Test Your Lights – The last thing you want to do is spend hours hanging your lights, only to discover half of them don’t work, so make sure you test them before hanging them. If you have any sets with missing or burned out bulbs, ensure you replace the bulbs with those from the same type of set. For example, if you’re replacing bulbs on a set of 50 lights, only use replacement bulbs from a set of 50 lights with the same amperage, as both sets use different voltages and could cause premature burn out. Also, avoid connecting light sets of differing numbers of lights. You don’t want to connect a 35-light set to a 150-light set, as the milliamps are different and you could face a premature burnout or even a fire. Now this only applies to incandescent mini lights, not LEDs or C7 or C9 bulbs.
Hang Your Lights – Once you’ve decided which lights you’re going to string up and where you’re going to hang them, it’s time to grab your gear and get to it. Timers are all-around great products, but they can play an especially vital role in reducing your electricity costs during the holiday season. If you’re going to use a timer, it’s recommended to have the lights kick on at dusk, and shut off either at midnight or at dawn. This eliminates those days when you forget to unplug your lights when heading off to work or forgetting to plug them in at night. To make the whole light installation process faster, easier, and safer, it’s a good idea to install the clips on your lights while on the ground. While you’re on the ladder, avoid standing on the top rung and stretching too far. Christmas won’t be as much fun with a dislocated shoulder or a broken arm. The saying “measure twice, cut once” not only applies to carpentry, but to holiday lighting as well. Measure how much distance you’re going to need for your lights. There’s nothing worse than a bare spot on your roof line.
When hanging your lights, the most important thing to remember is to have fun and be creative. On that note, we’d love to see your lighting displays, so send us pictures of your decked out homes on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus!
A gathering of Carol Singers in front of the Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square, London England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The holiday season is upon us, and with it come decorative snowmen, a lush wreath on the front door, and of course, O’ Tannenbaum. While decorating your Christmas tree is a fun, family-oriented affair, ensuring your evergreen has the right amount of lights on it to put off that special glow can be a bit tricky: too dim and you can’t display your skillful ornament placement, too bright and you could induce a few seizures. So what’s the right amount of lights for your tree?
Up until about five minutes ago, I subscribed to the “there’s no such thing as too many lights on a Christmas tree” theory. Well, that may not necessarily be the case. There are many factors that go into properly lighting your tree, such as the height, diameter, type of tree, and even the type of Christmas lights. While there is no “right” amount of lights to use on your tree, the tips below merely serve as a guide to point you in the right direction, and you should use the amount and type of lights that fit your preferences.
Tree Size: Let’s start with the size of your tree. Clearly, the vertical height of your tree determines how many lights you’ll need. If you’re leaning more toward a conservative lighting approach, then use 100 mini lights per vertical foot. If you’re going for a brighter look, try using 200 mini lights per vertical foot. Keep in mind you won’t need to use as many lights for trees that are on the skinny side, but you may need up to 25 percent more lights for your thicker trees, like Spruces, Pines, and Firs. For example: for a standard 6-foot tree, you’re looking at 600 mini lights, while an 8-foot Alaskan Fir may need 1,000 mini lights. And for those of you with a 20-foot tree, be prepared to use 2,000 mini lights. Again, the above figures reflect a “medium” lighting approach.
Bulb Type: The types of light strings you use to decorate your tree plays an important role in determining the number of lights you’ll need to bring holiday cheer to your living room. Still use incandescent mini light strings? That’s cool. So do I. As stated above, for incandescent mini lights, it’s recommended to use 100 lights per vertical foot of your tree. For those of you that have made the switch to LED mini lights, not only will you need fewer lights to achieve the desired brightness, since they’re brighter than incandescents, but you’ll also be saving money. With that in mind, you’ll only need 50 lights per vertical foot of your tree while using LEDs. Looking to achieve that classic look akin to A Christmas Story or Christmas Vacation by using C7 or C9 lights? Go for it. As with the LEDs, you’ll need far less of the C7 or C9 bulbs, as these too are brighter than their incandescent counterparts.
The chart below illustrates the recommended number of lights based on your tree’s height, types of bulbs, and whether it’s an indoor or outdoor tree. Also, 1000Bulbs.com has created an excellent resource page with tips ranging from decorating your tree, roof, and even Christmas light maintenance.
Give us a shout on Google Plus, Twitter, or Facebook and tell us how many bulbs you use to decorate your Christmas tree and what your favorite types of Christmas lights are!
Perhaps your tree is looking a lot like the one from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Maybe you’re tired of lugging in that live tree year after year and tired of constantly sweeping up pine needles. Maybe you’re tired of refilling the water when your cats decide the Christmas tree’s water is better than their actual water. Whatever the reason, we’ve got all types of artificial Christmas trees that are sure to make spirits bright for many holidays to come.
Unlit and Pre-lit Christmas Trees: These types of trees are the staple of Christmas decorating, and offered in many different sizes, diameters, andvariations. Worried about an unevenly lit tree? Then check out our wide selection of pre-lit Christmas trees. Since pre-lit trees come with either warm white or multi-color lights, they don’t really give you the option to switch up the lights year to year. If you’re looking for that freedom, then look into our unlit Christmas trees.
Flocked and Frosted Christmas Trees: For those of you with mild winters, you know that snow is a rare occurrence. With that in mind, create your own white Christmas with our flocked and frosted trees. The branches of these trees are frosted and covered in “snow”, giving the trees a wintery look just like the outdoors. Coming in unlit and pre-lit options, these trees will bring that special Christmas feel to your home year after year.
Upside Down Christmas Trees: Yes, we have upside down Christmas trees. Just like the name suggests, these trees are, well, upside down, and come in a few different varieties. From chandelier trees to corner quarter trees, if you’re looking for a new spin on Christmas, these trees give you just that.
Palm and Tinsel Christmas Trees: These Christmas trees take “untraditional” to a whole new level. Feel like having a tropical holiday? Our pre-lit palm Christmas trees are sure to add island flair. While our palm Christmas trees will transform your living room into an island escape, our pre-lit tinsel trees will give you a more flamboyant Christmas. Made from the same material as PVC tinsel, we’ve got the colors you need for your holiday décor.
Half and Quarter Christmas Trees: Tight on space? Is accidentally knocking off ornaments from your Christmas tree getting old? Then our half trees may just be for you. Never heard of a half tree before? It’s designed to save space by lining up flush against the wall, while still giving you a tree to decorate and enjoy. The same applies for our corner trees. These tress specifically fit in the corner of a room, giving you more operating space, but still giving you a Christmas tree to enjoy.
What kind of tree are you planning to use this holiday season? Tell us in the comments below, or drop us a line on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus!
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.
CFLs 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.
LED 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 Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Your worst fear has come to life: there’s a broken bulb in your fixture. Your mind is bombarded with questions: What do I do? How do I fix it? Relax. We here at 1000Bulbs.com are going to show you how to remove that broken bulb. Safely, too, I might add, without requiring stitches or sending electricity coursing through your body.
Dealing with a Broken Light Bulb with Glass
Before you start handling bulbs and fixtures, make absolutely sure the electricity is turned off. Your body, more specifically your heart, doesn’t handle electricity too well. If you’re working with a lamp, unplug it, and if you’re working with a fixture, turn the power off at the circuit breaker.
Protect yourself. Wear mechanics gloves or gardening gloves, not latex gloves as the glass from the bulb will most likely cut through these types of gloves. Make sure to protect your eyes as well. Throw on some safety goggles, or if you’re fresh out of safety goggles, a nice pair of Oakley’s will do the trick.
When dealing with a broken bulb that still has glass around the base, grab the bulb as close to the base as possible. Even though you’re wearing gloves, it’s still best to avoid shards of glass ending up stuck in your gloves. Once the broken bulb is removed, simply throw it out. (Note: the above steps still apply even if you’re dealing with a CFL , but instead of throwing it away in the trash, dispose of it properly.)
What should you do if you don’t have gloves of any kind? Don’t worry. A potato will do just fine. Cut a potato in half, and carefully use one half to grab the bulb. The bulb’s glass will grip the potato, allowing you to twist the bulb out of its socket.
Dealing with a Broken Light Bulb with No Glass
You might be so fortunate as to come across a bulb that has all of the glass missing, and all that’s left is the base. Great. Thankfully, there’s a simple trick to removing the base from a fixture. Grab a pair of needle-nose pliers and open them inside the base and turn, to the left of course. You may need to tighten and retighten the bulb, sort of wiggling the base, before it comes out.
Last but not least, ensure a proper clean up. After you’ve swept up the glass, consider using the sticky side of tape to catch the finer pieces of glass that your broom missed.
That’s pretty much it. Just remember to use extreme caution when handling glass and electricity. Were there any steps we missed? Let us know in the comments below, or drop a line on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!
So you want to add under cabinet lighting to your kitchen, or perhaps add accent lighting to your deck or patio, but you’re not sure what kind of lighting to use, rope light or tape light. Both have their advantages, but which one works best for you?
Rope Light: Rope light is a great, versatile tool that’s used in many accent lighting applications. From adding a fun touch to your deck to adding a warm tone to restaurants, there’s not a whole lot you can’t do with rope light. While rope light offers tons of advantages, there’s a few things you should know. For starters, rope light can be tricky to maneuver in tight spaces (not to mention rope light can’t be bent at a 90-degree angle without breaking the wires inside) , and even the smallest diameter rope light can present challenges when it comes to concealment. Available in 12-volt, 24-volt, and 120-volt in LED and incandescent, these higher voltages give you the freedom to create virtually any lighting scheme you can imagine. With that being said, rope light can only be cut into certain sections, and the amount of these sections changes from size to size. Also, rope light gets hot, very hot, so this must be taken into consideration when deciding where to put your rope light. Rope light is generally more expensive, and it also does not offer the RGB (red, green, blue) option, therefore somewhat limiting your color options.
LED Tape Light
Tape Light: Tape light is sometimes called LED strip lights, and for a good reason. Tape light looks exactly the way it sounds: flat. The shape of tape light has some serious advantages. For one, due to its shape, it’s much easier to work with than rope light, and fits into tighter spaces much easier, too. Also, tape light is super easy to install, especially with L-shape connectors for 90-degree turns, since all you have to do is peel off the adhesive backing, and, that’s it. What’s more, LED tape light is cheaper than rope light and offers multiple colors, including RGB color changing tape light. So with all these positives, it certainly seems like tape lights don’t have many drawbacks. Well, there’s a couple, but the biggest is tape lights have a very limited run, 16-feet for a 24-volt strip to be exact. While this is perfect for those small projects, if you’re looking to light your whole kitchen, things could get messy because every section requires its own power source, and you’re going to be left with a wad of cables to power those sections.
Which is better? Well, neither one is outright better than the other. Both have their advantages over the other. However, both are suitable for damp locations, but they cannot be submerged. So the bottom line here is this: if you need to light 100 or so feet, rope light is the definite winner there, but if you’re looking to light small sections with quick, simple installation, then look at tape light.