Dec 06, 13
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!
Nov 22, 13
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!
Nov 08, 13
It’s that time of the year again: we’ve gained an hour of sleep, it gets darker earlier, and the air has a particular fall crispness about it. These changes mean Christmas is inching closer and closer, and it’s officially time to start thinking about gift ideas. Not only does 1000Bulbs.com meet your every lighting need, but we can also meet your holiday shopping needs as well. Below are some things that are sure to make great Christmas gifts this and every year.
Warm White Icicle Lights- Not only are icicle lights great for decorating your home as they give a warm, wintery look, but they’re also great for decorating bedrooms and dorms. Christmas may come but once a year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use these white wire icicle lights in your bedroom all year round to give your room a relaxing, cozy feel as you study or read.
Mini Artificial Christmas Trees- Sure, full-size Christmas trees are great, but finding space for that big box can be tricky, especially if you live in an apartment or a dorm. Fortunately, we have just the solution for you: mini Christmas trees. Ranging in sizes from two to five feet, and coming in pre-lit, unlit, and even flocked trees, we’ve got the mini trees you need for a pint-sized Christmas.
LED Candles- Not only do regular candles not last too long, but being burned by hot wax is unpleasant. With that in mind, LED candles are the way to go. Battery operated, these candles have all the traits of traditional candles, including a “flame” that flickers, and most even have a timer for added convenience. Ranging in size from 6 to 12 inches in height and up to six inches in diameter, our LED candles set the perfect mood, whether for The Notebook or The Silence of the Lambs.
Novelty Lights- There’s quite a few different types of lights that make up our novelty lights section, any of which will create a unique and fun atmosphere. Want a southern vibe? Then our cowboy boot lights, cow skull lights, or shotgun shell lights may be for you. We’ve got the novelty lights for any feel you’re going for.
Authentic Models AS080
Model Planes, Boats, and Nautical Accessories- The 1000Bulbs.com website contains over 34,000 items, and among those 34,000 items are gifts for the aviation and nautical enthusiast on your list. Every inch of these models are amazingly authentic, and no detail has been overlooked. For the aviation enthusiast, check out the replication of the Dakota DC-3. Featuring an aluminum sheet covered frame with original detailing and a 3-foot wingspan, this plane will look great on a desk or bookcase. For the nautical enthusiast, the RMS Titanic is a truly stunning piece. Superbly displaying all the fine details, including the wires supporting the funnels and the ones running from bow to stern, this piece will make a bold statement on the fireplace mantle or on a bookcase. Ships and planes aren’t your game? Then have a look at our novelty nautical accessories, including compasses, nautical clocks, and weather glasses.
Tape Light- One of the easiest ways to spruce up almost anything, LED tape light is versatile and simple to install. Simply pull off the adhesive backing and apply it to almost any surface. Offered in a multitude of colors, including warm white, green, and blue, LED tape light is ideal for under cabinet lighting or making a home made baby man LED light suit.
Globe Lights- LED globe lights are a fun twist on traditional Christmas lights. Filled with tinsel, these globes are multi-color and some even cycle through cyan, green, purple, red, and royal blue for a truly unique experience. Capable of having 20 to 32 strings connected together, these LED globe lights are great for decorating porches, patios, and even fences.
LED Lanterns- Similar to our LED candles, our LED lanterns make great decorative pieces. Use our white and silver lanterns to further accent your holiday décor, bringing a cheery, festive look to every season. Looking to add a spooky touch to your Halloween? Then check out our black lantern. Whether you’re going for spooky or cheery, our antique-looking LED lanterns are great for any look.
What other great Christmas gifts did we leave off this list? Let us know in the comments below, or hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus!
Dec 22, 12
For this week’s issue of Light Post, we’ve collected some excellent lighting stories, from a Dallas-area Christmas light tour, to some last-minute holiday lighting tips, and even a scoop on how LED lights are helping astronauts sleep. So, post up in your favorite spot and enjoy Light Post.
Farmers Branch Offering Tour of Lights
If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, check out the Tour of Lights in Farmers Branch. This drive-through event features hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights and displays. To get there from the intersection of Interstate 35E at Valley View Lane, follow the candy cane signs down William Dodson Parkway to Farmers Branch City Hall, through the DART station area and to the Farmers Branch Historical Park. What makes this event even sweeter is that it’s FREE. The Tour of Lights runs through December 1 to New Year’s Eve.
Holiday Lighting Safety Tips
These tips come all the from Wayne County, NY, but lighting safety tips are universal and will ensure you have a safe holiday season.
- Make sure you inspect your lights each year before putting them on the house. Look for worn or frayed receptacles, cords, and loose connections. If you find anything out of place, replace your lights with new ones from 1000Bulbs.com.
- For those who’ve seen ‘Christmas Vacation’, you know that electrical cords and cats don’t mix. Well, neither do toddlers and electrical cords. Make sure cords are out of reach of your four-legged friends and the kiddos.
- The only hassle with live trees is keeping up with all the stray needles and refilling the water when your cats drink out of the tree holder. Having a live tree takes a few more safety steps. Cut the base of the tree at a 45-degree angle to allow water absorption. Also, use mini lights as they produce much less heat than regular lights and reduce the drying effect on the tree. Pesky, water-drinking cats aside, your tree will drink anywhere from a quart to a gallon of water each day, so refilling the water prevents the tree from drying out.
- All of these safety tips are no replacement for checking and replacing the batteries in your smoke detectors.
LED Lights to Combat Astronaut Insomnia
Apparently sleep is tough to come by on the International Space Station. NASA flight surgeon Smith Johnston explains why: “The station is noisy, carbon dioxide is high, and you don’t have a shower (seriously?).” This is why NASA is spending $11.2 million on switching out the space station’s fluorescent lights for color-alternating LEDs. The LEDs will alternate from blue, white, and red, based upon the time of day. NASA says it plans to have the switchover completed by 2016.
LED Lighting Options Help Christmas Displays Go Green
One year, I put about 7,000 lights on my parents’ house. They liked the lights, until they got their electric bill. However, there are a lot of money-saving options like LED mini lights. LEDs are the most efficient lights you can buy, and will save you a ton in electricity costs. Powering 600 incandescent lights for six hours a day will cost about $80, while the same number of LED lights will cost only $7.
Nov 30, 12
Christmas is only 24 days away, but it’s not too late to put on your best lighting display ever! You may think you already know everything about Christmas lights and decorations, but there are a few awesome products you may have missed. Here are five of our favorites.
Bring back your (or your parents’) childhood memories with candelabra base bubble lights. Used since the 1940s, these unique bulbs aren’t as popular as they once were, but they’re a great idea for a retro-style Christmas. Each bubble light houses a tiny incandescent bulb that creates both heat and light to bubble the liquid within the tube. They even work as nightlights when the holidays are over!
Color-Changing LED Bulbs
Jealous of your neighbor’s Christmas light show, but don’t have time to set up complicated controllers? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just screw in some magic bulbs that did all of the work for you? Color-changing LED Christmas bulbs are just what you’re looking for! Simply replace your existing incandescent or LED C7 or C9 bulbs with these and watch as they cycle through red, blue, green, yellow, orange, and purple.
LED Snowfall Lights
If you live in a climate like ours here in Dallas, you may have given up hope for a White Christmas. But hang LED Snowfall lights from your trees and you can still watch the “snow” fall in the night sky. Ranging from 7 inches to over 6 feet long, each set of these suspended, water-resistant tubes contain cool white LEDs that chase and drift in randomized patterns, emulating a beautiful and calming snowfall.
Ideal for candlelit Christmas ceremonies and picturesque holiday displays, battery-operated candles are a safer and cleaner alternative to real candles. Great for windows, tables, and mantles, the wax-drip details and metallic bases of these incandescent and LED candles add a traditional look and feel to any space.
Christmas Light Stringers
C7 and C9 Christmas light stringers are the pro’s secret to a perfect outdoor holiday display. Not only can you choose whatever color of incandescent or LED bulb to use with these stringers, you can also cut them to fit any surface. Reached the end of your gutter? Cut off the excess wire and cap it. Visit our site to pick up whatever length you need, but don’t forget the end plugs!
So what are your holiday decorating ideas this year? Let us know in the comments and drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest!