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Ultimate Christmas Light Guide – Part 4

Ultimate Christmas Light Guide – Part 4

Now that we’ve gotten the most common and assembly-heavy lights out of the way, it’s time to put some whimsy into our Christmas décor. Part 4 of our Christmas light guide will cover some unusual and off-the-beaten path lights.

G12 Berry Lights

LED G12 string lights in hand

They are called “berry” lights because of the small, faceted globes that cap the lights, resembling raspberries or holly berries. These string lights are most often found only in the LED version and come in a variety of colors. “G12” stands for “Globe” and “12mm”, which is the general shape and diameter of the bulbs.

Tinsel-filled globe stringers, multi-color

LED Globe Stringers

Tinsel-filled, these multi-colored globes are wonderful to behold.  The G13 globes are pretty large (about 1.5 inches in diameter) compared to the average mini light string, so don’t expect to buy a long, 50-foot set. However, the energy-saving nature of LEDs comes to the rescue, allowing you to connecting over 30 sets from end to end. Although tinsel inside a glass globe with a heat-producing light bulb may sound unsafe, the low operating temperature of LEDs eliminate that particular concern.  Since LEDs don’t produce nearly as much heat as their incandescent predecessors, you can feel free to delight children and wow the passerby with these bemusing lights.

LED Candles and Lanterns

LED windowsill candles

If you take everything hazardous about real candles away and use LEDs instead, your result is battery-operated LED candles and lanterns. LED candles could be fat pillars or the more slender windowsill candles, complete with the candlestick holder.  LED lanterns also vary in size and shape, from antique cages to oil-lit lamps. Some models of LED candles can be controlled by remote and others can oscillate their battery power, imitating the beloved flickering flame. If you have little sugar plums, prone to spills or many meetings of the broom and dustpan, consider using LED candles or lanterns to give you the candlelight glow without the risk of fire.

Bubble Lights

Incandescent Bubble light

Bubble light strings are a major throwback to traditional Christmas lights. Candle-shaped and in sparkling metallics or funky multi-colors, these lights operate like lava lamps by using the heat from the incandescent bulbs to warm and bubble the encased liquid. With only 7 lights per string and a foot of space between them, you can potentially connect up to 7 sets together for the length needed to add these classic stringers to your Christmas tree. Remember to allow several minutes for the bulbs to heat the liquid and use only in an upright position. A gentle tap should release any lagging bubbles.

LED Spheres

Multi-colored LED mini light sphere

Multi-colored LED mini light sphere

White LED holographic starfire sphere

White LED holographic starfire sphere

It’s MAGIC! Well, not really. There are actually several kinds of LED “starlight” spheres. The spheres are like lit oversized Christmas ball ornaments. One type of starlight sphere has a very short length of LED mini lights encased in a faceted semi-transparent sphere. Another kind of starlight sphere takes the mini lights and places them on the outside of the sphere like a starburst of color. We used the latter in our How to Make Pokeball Lights DIY. But the most mystifying and entertaining of the bunch is the Holographic Starfire Sphere, which also contains LED mini lights that create a fascinating twinkling star effect by reflecting off of the gleaming materials inside. It should be noted the brightest of these balls is the starlight sphere with the external lights, while the holographic sphere offers the most muted display. 

Pre-Lit Trees, Wreaths, and Garlands

garland and trees pre-lit-with white lights and a puppy in the doorway

Pre-lit artificial trees and greenery are available in all shapes and sizes, saving sanity and time. There are no messy leaves or needles to vacuum. A quick assembly before fluffing your foliage is all that is required. Most of the time the light strings are permanently wrapped on the branches or garlands in a way that hides the wiring much better than you or I could do. Artificial greenery with incandescent light strings come with replacement lamps and fuses. LED lamps are not replaceable and LED versions of the mini light strings only come with spare fuses. If an LED lamp fails, you can repair it with items like our LED Keeper Pods or you can replace the whole light string. Other things to remember include leaving a foot or more of space between the top of your tree and the ceiling for that show-stopping tree topper. Also many wreaths are listed by diameter, so don’t buy a 10-foot wide wreath for your 4-foot wide doorway.

Do you know about more lights to make the holidays merry and bright? Or perhaps, you just want to tell us about the time you honestly saw mommy kissing Santa Claus? Leave your questions, suggestions, and “Scout’s-honor” true stories in the comment area below. Enjoy more lighting news, tips, and an ever-increasing amount of Christmas tree pictures on our FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusLinkedIn, or Pinterest. The big countdown to Christmas continues as our Whoville of 1000Bulbs’ staff prepares for the ultimate holiday challenge: detangling Christmas lights. However, our customers can check Part 5 of our guide for lighting storage tips and products.

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