DIY Christmas Decorations on a Budget

Dec 13, 13 DIY Christmas Decorations on a Budget

With Christmas less than two weeks away, it’s safe to assume that you’ve already put up the majority of your Christmas decorations. We have too. But if you find yourself looking for some festive  and inexpensive crafts that you can do with the whole family or by yourself on a chilly Sunday afternoon, we’ve got some DIY decoration ideas that will brighten up your home for the holidays. Many of these simple decorations can be made with things you may already have lying around the house.

 

Tomato Cage Christmas Tree

tomato cage treeWith gardening season being a ways away, this DIY tutorial will give you an opportunity to re-purpose some supplies that you may not be using. Here are the basic essentials you’ll need: 2 tomato cages, any light string you want (has to be able to wrap around the entire length of the cage), and a rubber band or elastic to secure the tips of the cage.

When the cages are assembled, turn them upside down and stack one on top of the other. This is so the lights and whatever else you choose to decorate the cage with will have a stronger foundation. Gather the loose ends of the cage and secure them with a strong rubber band to create the point of a Christmas tree.

Take your Christmas lights and begin wrapping them around the cages from the top down. You can hide the rubber band at the top of the cage by tightly wrapping the lights or by tying festive ribbon over it for an extra decorative touch.

Cupcake Liner Light Strings

1206HOL30For those of you who happen to have a few cupcake liners stashed away in the cupboard from the last time you baked, this easy DIY is perfect for you! All you need is a mini light string and cupcake liners. We think holiday colors or metallic silver would look great, but whatever you have in the house works too!

When we say this DIY is easy, we mean it. All you have to do is cut a small slit in the bottom of a cupcake liner and fit it over an individual bulb on the light string and you’re done! Repeat with as many bulbs as you want to cover on the string. If you’re in a hurry, you can also use the bulb on the light string to gently punch through the liner. This decorative light string will look great lining a fireplace mantle or strung across your living room walls.

Glitter Covered Bulbs

glitter bulbsIf any of your outside Christmas lights have burned out, don’t throw them away! Instead, use them as an eye-catching decoration. For this DIY, you’ll need replacement Christmas light bulbs, glue, and glitter.

First, take the bulb by the base and use a paint brush that you don’t mind throwing away or your finger to apply the glue evenly over the surface of the bulb. Next, roll the bulb in glitter or sprinkle it on yourself. Try and wipe off any excess glitter to make sure that it’s evenly covering the bulb. Once the bulbs are dry, put all of them in a bowl to display or tie ribbon around the base and use them as Christmas ornaments for your tree!

Illuminated Canvas

lighted signThis next DIY may require trip to the craft store, but the end product is worth it. Using Christmas lights and a canvas, you can create artwork that doubles as lighting for your room. Here’s what you’ll need: Canvas, white mini light strings, a pencil, an awl (a tool for poking holes in wood and leather), and glue.

First make marks on the back of the canvas with the pencil to get an idea of where you want the lights to poke through. Make sure the lights are at least half an inch apart. Then, using the awl, gently poke through the pencil markings. Once you’ve done that, place glue around each hole and poke the Christmas lights through. After you’re done, you can tape the lights down on the back of the canvas to make sure they stay. If you want to add a little more holiday spirit to the project, paint anything from snowflakes to the words “Merry Christmas” on the canvas.

Light String Wreath

light wreathIf you’re looking to make a simple, minimalist wreath that will look great in your home, but could also withstand the outdoor elements, this DIY is for you. All you need is a basic wreath frame (these can be found at any craft store) and a string of outdoor Christmas lights, unless you only plan on hanging the wreath indoors. Try LED mini lights or a C6 LED light string.  Begin wrapping the light strings around the frame as loosely or as tightly as you want. Just remember that you have to leave enough of the wire to reach an outlet if you aren’t able to use an extension cord.

 

Have any DIY holiday projects you’d like to share? Send us your pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus! We’d love to see them!

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How Do I Decorate My Home with Christmas Lights?

Dec 06, 13 How Do I Decorate My Home with Christmas Lights?

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!

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

Nov 29, 13 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

If you’re an avid participant in the madness that is Black Friday shopping, then you know how much of a nightmare it can be; the long lines, the ruthless shoppers – it can be a draining experience. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials on everything from light bulbs to Christmas decorations, 1000Bulbs.com has a little something for everyone – and you won’t even have to leave the house! Highlighted below are only a few of these great deals that are going on now and will extend through Cyber Monday, December 2, 2013.

98967_6685e1b992640ae312b53c4b3ad7d817de57bc95_original_x_323_1382358802ETi 5W – 35W Equal A19 LED – $2.99

For those of you that are currently making the switch to more energy-efficient lighting, you know how difficult it can be to find quality LED lighting at an affordable price. This ETi 5-watt A19 LED bulb will give you just that. Using only 5 watts, this bulb produces a warm white light and is an energy-efficient alternative to standard 35-watt incandescent bulbs. Featuring a standard A19 shape, this bulb will easily replace incandescent bulbs in fixtures like table lamps and hanging pendants. Because it produces the same wattage as an incandescent using less energy, the ETi LED will also save you money on energy costs. Now that’s a pretty great Christmas gift.

 

90531_7f38215bd30932400447d10009fe5be2f9f3dd66_original_x_323_136590801525% Off Holiday LED Wax Candles – Starting at $6.90

Part of decorating for the holidays is all about creating the right atmosphere. For some people, a component to creating that cozy Christmas feeling is having holiday candles everywhere from fireplace mantles to dining room tables. To give your home the same warm glow without the potential fire hazard, flameless LED wax candles will work just as well. Starting at only $6.90, these battery-powered holiday candles feature a soft glow flicker flame and a convenient timer option. Receive 25 percent off when you enter the coupon code “CANDLE25” at checkout.

 

65770_94723593b0a4e397d912696e35b0f7a7dbfd86f0_original_x_323_13521127736 ft. Pre-lit Christmas Tree with 200 Clear Lights – $39.95

If you’re looking to snag a great deal on a new Christmas tree this year, you’re in luck. This Barcana 6 ft. Timberline Pine Christmas tree eliminates the hassle of wrapping and unwrapping light strings.  Constructed of classic PVC tips, this tree is incredibly easy to store and will last you many holiday seasons to come. Originally sold for the retail price of $149.99, you can get this tree while supplies last for only $39.95.

 

98577_0b534a3f0ae1a3490ad301bdcc596b2668c020f5_original_x_323_138401829030% Off All Halogen Automotive Headlights – Starting at $3.63

Having replacement headlight lamps on hand is always a good idea, especially during the winter months. Driving through snow (or any kind of weather for that matter) without rear or front-facing headlights is never a good idea. Starting at just $3.63, all halogen headlights at 1000Bulbs.com are 30 percent off their original price using the coupon code “HEADLIGHTS”. By entering the make, model, and year of your car, our new Bulb Finder will help you find the perfect light for your automobile.

 

For a full list of our Black Friday items, visit www.1000bulbs.com/blackfriday. Have any more questions about our products? Give us a shout in the comments below or you can contact us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.

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How Many Christmas Lights for Christmas Trees?

Nov 22, 13 How Many Christmas Lights for Christmas Trees?
A gathering of Carol Singers in front of the C...

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.

Christmas Light Chart

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!

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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 1000Bulbs.com 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.

Unless they’re the equivalent of a modern-day Ebenezer Scrooge, it’s safe to say that most people find Christmas light displays to be delightful. Although holiday lights are lovely to look at, they can lead to excessive amounts of wasted energy, not to mention a hefty bill in the mail. While it’s impossible to stay 100 percent green, using LED Christmas lights is a reasonable alternative.

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Unlike incandescent lights, LEDs have no filament to burn out, which is why they are able to last for up to 40 holiday seasons, whereas incandescent bulbs have the potential to burn out after one. LED lights also consume less wattage and only burn about 10 percent of the energy that incandescent lights do. According to Energy.gov, the cost of lighting a 6-foot tree with incandescent bulbs for 12 hours a day for 40 days, is roughly $10.00. Using LED mini lights for the same period of time only costs $0.82. The Department of Energy estimates that Christmas lights use just as much electricity as half a million homes do in a month. If every household switched to LED lighting, the DOE also says that U.S. households could save over $400 million in electricity costs.

Not only do LED Christmas lights use less energy than their incandescent counterparts, but they are also much safer. Typically made of glass, incandescent Christmas lights are much more likely to shatter, increasing the risk of house fires. LED light strings, like wide angle LED mini lights, use epoxy lenses, or plastic, and are much sturdier and resistant to breakage. Again, because they have no filament to produce heat, LED bulbs are cool to the touch and reduce the risk of burns or combustion. Consuming lower amounts of energy also makes LED Christmas lights better for the environment. This is why large Christmas displays around the world, such as the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City, use LED lighting. By switching to LEDs, the iconic tree has decreased daily energy consumption from 3,510 kWh per day to 1,297 kWh per day.

House Christmas LightsWe know how easy it is to accidentally leave the lights on when you don’t really need them. To reduce your energy consumption even further, use automatic timers for both indoor and outdoor holiday lights. Set timers to turn lights on when it gets dark and off during a reasonable hour later that night. Having the ability to program your Christmas lights will eliminate the stress of wondering whether or not you forgot to turn them off before you left the house. Before plugging in and programming, make sure the timer is capable of handling the combined wattage of your lights. According to Energy.gov, keeping light displays on for less than eight hours per night will help you keep your energy costs low. If you don’t have a timer, being as frugal as possible with the number of hours your lights are on will make all the difference.

Do you have any questions about LED Christmas lights? Let us know in the comments below, or give us a shout out on TwitterFacebook, or Google Plus!

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