Christmas Lights Buyers Guide (Updated 2020)
When it comes to buying Christmas lights, the sky's the limit. There is a multitude of ways that Christmas lights can be used to show your holiday spirit. However, before you jump into purchasing your lights for the upcoming holiday season, it’s important to take the time to understand your options and how certain types of lights can be used. In addition, there are many tips and tricks to using Christmas lights in the most effective way possible.
At Christmas Designers, pro-grade LED Christmas lights are our passion. That’s why we’ve compiled this complete guide to Christmas lights in order to ensure that your display is as unique and breathtaking as you envisioned. From avoiding common mistakes to integrating color, to learning key tips about the different kinds of lights available, we will cover everything you need to know to make your holiday successful in this guide. Continue reading to see how you can make this year’s Christmas display the most spectacular one ever.
What Are the Top Mistakes People Make When Buying Christmas Lights?
As the holiday season rolls around each year, people begin to stock up on a variety of decorations--perhaps none more important than LED Christmas lights. LED lights are one of the more popular ways to show your holiday spirit. They can be used in a variety of areas--from your indoor tree to your outdoor display, and there are endless combinations of how they can be used.
However, there are common mistakes that you will want to avoid when decorating for the holidays. See examples of top mistakes below and learn how to overcome these challenges to ensure that your Christmas lights display is exactly what you envisioned.
- Mistake #1: Purchasing Your Lights from Big Box Retailers: While big-box retailers can be a wonderful place to stock up on various Christmas supplies, they’re not ideal for purchasing Christmas lights. Many people are tempted to purchase their lights from retailers because they are often quite inexpensive. However, this is likely the most common mistake that people make that can seriously impact the quality and longevity of their Christmas display.
Unfortunately, the reason that big-box chain stores can sell their lights so cheap is due to the fact that they are often not high-quality. The quality and brightness can’t compare with pro-grade LED Christmas lights. Additionally, you are much more likely to experience light failure when purchasing from retailers. Our pro-grade Christmas lights feature a one-piece construction. This means that there is no space for dirt, water, and other debris to enter the bulbs.
Damage from water and dirt seeping into the bulbs is the #1 cause of light failure, so going with pro-grade LED lights as opposed to the cheaper options can save you a lot of headaches and will keep you from needing to purchase new strings of lights.
Thus, although retail Christmas lights might seem like a cost-effective option, they can actually end up being more expensive than you would expect if you need to keep purchasing new lights. Additionally, the hassle that goes along with having a burnt-out bulb on your lights set can truly be a nuisance.
Pro Tip: Save yourself time and frustration by going with quality, pro-grade lights instead.
- Mistake #2: Not Using Empty Socket Light Line for C7/C9 Lights: Many people will simply purchase stringer lights sets for their Christmas display. While this is certainly an excellent option and can make things simpler, if you really want to customize your display, you can use an empty socket light line with C7 and C9 bulbs.
Empty socket light line allows you to choose where you want to screw in your bulbs and that way you can customize your color scheme and the spacing between your lights to your unique tastes. Additionally, bulbs that are inserted into an empty socket light line tend to glow brighter than the bulbs on stringer sets.
- Mistake #3: Not Taking Advantage of the Beauty of Pure White: Many people may avoid pure white Christmas lights because they have a tendency to not truly be a pure while. When purchasing pure white lights from a big box retailer, you’ll often end up with a color that is more bluish-white. Unfortunately, this look is not very appealing and can truly offset your entire display.
However, when purchasing our pro-grade pure white LED Christmas lights, you will find that they are the real deal. We offer white lights that are truly bright, beautiful, and produce an authentic pure white effect. Pure white lights create a classic and sophisticated look that can truly elevate your Christmas display. Thus, they can be a wonderful addition and shouldn’t be avoided. However, it’s important that you purchase your pure white lights from a quality pro-grade distributor such as Christmas Designers in order to ensure that you’re getting the look you want.
- Mistake #4: Not Setting Realistic Expectations or Having a Plan: Another one of the most common mistakes that people tend to make when purchasing their Christmas lights is not setting realistic expectations for themselves and approaching their design with a plan. For example, people may find that they don’t have enough lights to create the full effect they’re looking for. Thus, we often recommend purchasing a little bit extra when it comes to the lights that you’ll be using the most. More often than not, you will need them.
However, on the other hand, it’s also important not to end up spending more money than is necessary. Thus, make sure you come up with a plan for your Christmas lights display before you go ahead and make any purchases. That way, you can keep yourself from buying things that you don’t really need or won’t use. This will save you money and allow you to spend your budget wisely on the most important aspects of your design.
How To Use Color In Your Christmas Lights Display
Now that you understand how to avoid the most common mistakes people make when purchasing Christmas lights, it’s time to think about one of the most important factors in any display: the color. Whether you are creating a commercial Christmas lights display or one for your residence, using color in the correct manner is essential to creating the perfect ambiance. In this section, we will explore how to use color and why certain colors work so well.
Why is Color So Powerful?
Color can have an incredibly powerful effect on people. It can cause them to experience certain feelings and emotions. There have been numerous studies on the impact that color has on individuals who have proven that it can affect both your mind and your overall mood.
When setting up a commercial Christmas display, it may be in your best interest to avoid using pure white lights. While these are indeed beautiful lights, if you want to send the message that your business or organization has the holiday spirit, it’s important to use colors that will make people think of the holidays. For example, a classic red and green color scheme can truly let people know that you are filled with holiday cheer, which can make them feel welcome and comfortable in your establishment.
What Are Some of The Most Impactful Colors?
Certain colors can have a particularly potent effect on both retail shoppers and also people who are simply enjoying your personal display. Below are our choices for the most powerful colors that you can use in your Christmas lights display.
- Pure White: While pure white lights may not be ideal for a commercial establishment, they can create a beautiful, clean aesthetic for your residence. A display featuring pure white lights can indeed be truly stunning and sophisticated, so it can be a wonderful go-to for decorating your home.
- Red: Red can be a powerful choice in your commercial display. You can use red to direct you, shoppers, to the register by lighting up that area. Additionally, red often makes people think of love and togetherness in general, so it can be an excellent way to decorate your home or retail space in order to encourage a feeling of togetherness.
- Green: Green is a universal color that is generally accepted as gender-neutral. Thus, it can be a very welcome addition to your display. It’s not masculine nor feminine, so it is a natural crowd-pleaser.
- Blue: Blue is actually the color that is most highly appreciated by both men and women, so it is a great choice for any retail space regardless of your clientele. In addition, blue can be used in your residential display and will be loved by all who see it.
Tips for Creating a Dazzling Christmas Lights Display
Whether you are a Christmas lights enthusiast or someone who is more casual about their display, the holiday season is the perfect time to really show your creativity. With endless combinations of lights, you can make a unique design that truly showcases your holiday spirit.
However, there are important things to consider that many people don’t think of when setting up their lights display. If you want to create a truly beautiful arrangement that is unique to your taste, see our top tips for creating a dazzling display below.
1) Always Use LED Christmas Lights Over Incandescent Bulbs: While all modern Christmas lights are now LED, there are still some people who are using old sets of incandescent lights. However, this is a huge mistake, as the benefits of LED lights are numerous. Some of the most notable benefits of LED lights are:
- LED lights are much brighter than incandescent bulbs and won’t fade over time.
- LED lights produce a more intense color.
- LEDs use less energy, thereby helping the environment and saving you money.
- LED lights sets can be easily connected to each other.
- LED lights last much longer and are more durable than incandescent bulbs.
- LED lights sets come in a variety of colors and sizes.
2) Try Using professional-grade Christmas Lights Over Retail Ones: The benefits of professional quality Christmas lights make them more than worth the fact that they are more expensive than what you will find in a retail store. First, pro-grade Christmas lights utilize a one-piece design. This means that the LED diode and lens are in a single sealed socket. Thus, dirt and water won’t be able to enter the inside of the bulb. This is extremely important, as the #1 cause of light failure is foreign material entering the bulb. Thus, while pro-grade lights are a bit more expensive, they are worth it due to the fact that you won’t end up with dead bulbs or needing to purchase replacements.
Additionally, the electrical components inside pro-grade lights are far superior to retail lights. This allows them to produce a much more brilliant and color-saturated effect. Thus, your Christmas lights display will always be sure to dazzle.
Moreover, pro-grade stringer sets are shorter than retail ones. This means you don’t have to worry about your lights becoming tangled as easily. Also, the shorter string sets allow you to work more easily with your lights sets. In addition, you can still customize your stringer sets by easily joining them together with pro-grade lights.
3) Simplify Your Life With Stringer Sets: Stringer sets are what you likely picture when thinking of Christmas lights. They consist of a 3-wire configuration with the bulbs pre-attached and have a male and female plug on opposite sides. While using something like an empty socket light line can allow for more flexibility, stringer sets are a simple way to create a lovely Christmas lights display without extra effort.
4) Get Creative with Empty Socket Light Line: While stringer sets are an excellent way to create a quick and easy Christmas lights display, using an empty socket light line allows you the ability to truly get creative. Empty socket light line consists of a line with empty sockets, as the name suggests. You can purchase C7 or C9 empty socket light line, so it’s up to you what size bulbs you would like to use.
In addition, you can choose how far apart you would like to space your lights by using an empty socket light line. We offer spacing from 6” to 36”, so no matter your taste, you can find a spacing that works for you. Additionally, you can simply skip a socket if you want to change up your spacing even more. Moreover, you can customize the colors you use by selecting different colored bulbs to go into your empty socket light line.
5) Know Your Lights: When it comes to creating your Christmas lights display, the options are seemingly endless. Thus, people can end up feeling overwhelmed when confronted with how many different types of lights are out there. Thus, it’s important to take the time to familiarize yourself with the most common types of lights and what they’re typically used for in order to ensure that you’re not wasting time and energy installing the wrong kind of lights. Below are the lights you will most frequently encounter and how they’re best used:
- 5 mm Wide Angle Conical Lights: Our 5mm wide angle conical lights are by far our most popular. They are 25% brighter than the average incandescent mini light. They are perfect for lighting up outdoor displays and can be ideal for wrapping around trees and shrubs. However, keep in mind that these lights are so bright that they might be a bit much for your indoor display.
- M5 Mini Lights: M5 mini lights feature an elongated, faceted design that produces a timeless effect. They are not as bright as our conical lights, but they are still perfectly suited to your outdoor display.
- T5 Lights: T5 lights will give you a feeling of nostalgia, as they look very similar to traditional incandescent mini lights. However, they still have the durability and longevity that comes along with all LED lights.
- C6 Lights: C6 lights are traditional, but they are smaller than their more popular siblings--C7 and C9 lights. They still produce the large-bulb look, however, and can be used beautifully as accents on your indoor tree or smaller decorations such as wreaths.
- C7 Lights: C7 lights are the middle size between C6 and C9 bulbs. They serve as a wonderful option if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to decorate your large outdoor tree or when lining areas on the exterior of your home.
- C9 Lights: C9 lights are very traditional Christmas lights. They are extremely popular and have been a staple for over 90 years. They are bright, round bulbs and are often a go-to for many people. They’re perfect for outdoor displays and look lovely highlighting areas such as porches, archways, and windows.
- Icicle Lights: Icicle lights have become increasingly popular over the years. They can be twinkling or steady, depending on your preference and have a dazzling hanging look. They’re ideal for outdoor Christmas displays and are even popular as event lighting.
- Net Lights: Our net lights feature 5mm wide angle conical LED lights with white or green wires. They can create a stunning overhead look that will truly wow anyone who looks at your display.
- Fairy Lights: Fairy lights look like tiny little droplets. They are beautiful and delicate and are ideal for highlighting small areas. In fact, many people use these lights in crafting projects all year round.
- Twinkly Pro RGB Lights: Twinkly Pro RGB lights are automated lights that allow you the ability to customize your display with just the touch of a button through your mobile device. They can be used indoors or outdoors and are truly the premiere Christmas lights on the market. You can create a unique design with ease and change it as frequently as you wish.
Conclusion: Complete Guide to Buying LED Christmas Lights
There you have it--all you need to know in order to create the Christmas display of your dreams. Whether you are an avid Christmas decorator or someone who simply likes to spread a bit of cheer over the holidays, it’s important to pay attention to key tips and know what mistakes to avoid. Remember that it’s all about enjoying yourself, so do your research, make a plan, and then unleash your creativity.