Ultimate Christmas Light Guide – Part 6
Once the last present has been unwrapped and that final bite of pie consumed, the holidays are officially over and it’s time to think about putting your lights away. In parts 1 through 5 of our guide, we set out to discuss the aesthetics, benefits, cool effects, and unforeseen complications of a wide range of commonly used Christmas lights. Our final words of advice are for the post-festivity aftercare of your decorations.
Maintaining Your Lights
Since the majority of your holiday lighting may be outside, a cord protector or two goes a long way in preventing untimely electrical shorts and rapid decay. Cord protectors are plastic, weather-resistant capsules to enclose your string light plug connections. They can prevent weather-related causes from interrupting power supply and corroding your string lights but that doesn’t mean they are waterproof. Ideally, you would try to anticipate areas where water or snow might accumulate and locate connections away from such areas. The best locations for connections are sheltered areas, such as beneath overhangs.
In a perfect world, you could simply install your lights, set the timer, and be done. Yet there is inevitably that one light that has lost its Christmas spirit. Finding and fixing burnt out mini lights is frustrating and time-consuming endeavor. To save time and possibly your sanity, invest in a mini light bulb tester for your incandescent string lights. The tester should be able to easily scan and find the circuit interruption whether it’s a bulb, broken wire, or poor contact where the voltage is blocked. Most holiday light set failures occur when an individual bulb 'shunt' fails to energize as a filament burns out. To correct this, a mini light bulb tester like the Light Keeper Pro may be able to send a harmless pulse of electricity through the circuit to find and fix the shunt, lighting the unlit section.
Sometimes one of the drawbacks to LED mini string lights is the bulbs are built-in, leaving you no options to replace them. Instead of throwing away the whole light string, use an LED mini light bulb tester to identity the failed bulb. With a tester like the LED Keeper, you can find and remove the broken bulb by cutting it out of the light strand. Then you can insert the cut wires into an LED Keeper pod, which will serve as a substitute to complete the electrical circuit and allow your string lights to shine again.
Storing Your Lights
Your house was the lighting piece de resistance of the neighborhood and your tree rivaled the one in Rockefeller Center, but now it’s time to put your decorations away. As tempting as it is to leave your masterpiece displayed until the next holiday season, proper storage is an important part of maintaining the beauty of your lighting and greenery for years to come. For your multitudes of mini lights or most string lights in general, a mini light storage reel eliminates extraneous packaging and ensures your next Christmas is tangle-free. Depending on how your artificial tree is assembled, you can use a standard Christmas tree storage bag or choose a rolling stand and storage bag for hinged Christmas trees, making packing and unpacking your tree a snap. Artificial wreaths can maintain their fluffy, circular shape with a round wreath storage bag. Last but certainly not least, guarantee that your Christmas ornaments can become heirlooms for future generations with an ornament storage bag.
Cool, classic, complex, or it-just-looks-crazy, holiday lighting can bring out the creativity in all of us. Do you have an idea for our next lighting DIY or maybe a question about the Christmas lighting of yesteryear? Leave your comments, suggestions, and questions in the area below. Let’s swap stories, memes, and adorable pictures of babies playing with string lights (under supervision, of course) on our Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, or Pinterest. Currently the 1000Bulbs staff is feverishly writing letters to Santa, requesting things like a free pass on their winter electric bills or FAA clearance for drones topped with Christmas lights. You can tell us your lighting wish list by calling 1-800-624-4488 today!