Pro Grade LED Christmas Lights vs. Retail Grade
Thinking of going Pro with your Christmas lights this year?
Here at Christmas Designers, we've champion the use of professional grade Christmas lights for all decoration enthusiasts. Whether you're a home or business decorator, pro grade lights offer a lot of hassle-free benefits over retail grade lights that you may not be aware of. Also referred to as commercial grade lights, pro Christmas lights are not typically available at your big box retailers. Until you shop with a pro supplier like us, you may have never seen or witnessed the wonderful quality that pro grade Christmas lights provide. We're here to offer a glimpse into the primary differences between pro grade and retail grade lights.
Pro Grade LED Christmas Lights
Bulb and Lens Design
Most pro grade lights are manufactured with a one-piece design. That means that the bulbs cannot be removed from the sockets. While some might consider the inability to remove and switch-out bulbs an inconvenience, it actually offers a huge advantage in durability.
That's because water and debris working into the socket is a leading cause of light failure, and the one-piece design helps to prevent that problem from occurring. The one-piece design is a primary factor in making pro grade lights so much more durable than retail grade lights.
In fact, pro-grade bulbs are rated to last for an astounding 75,000 hours - far longer than a typical light set is likely to be in use.
All of the components that go into the manufacture of LED lights are available in a wide range of quality and price. Every LED light manufacturer must decide whether to focus on quality or price. Those that choose to focus upon quality will select the higher-grade, more expensive components for pro grade lights.
It's a matter not only of durability but also quality. The difference in the visual quality of the diodes used in the manufacture of LED bulbs can often be quite apparent.
All LED lights cycle on and off many times per second. Full-wave lights cycle on and off twice as fast as half-wave lights. That can make a considerable impact on the visual quality of the lights. All pro grade lights are full-wave lights.
On average, you can reasonably expect pro grade lights to last for around 6 to 8 years - more than long enough to defray the extra cost of the lights on a per-season basis.
Christmas Designer's Pro-Grade Warranty
We offer a full 3-season warranty on all of our pro grade lights.
Retail Grade LED Christmas Lights
Bulb and Lens Design
Retail grade lights are manufactured with a two-piece design. That means that you can remove the bulb as needed to replace the LED diode.
But that's a good-news/bad-news scenario because you're far more likely to need to replace failed diodes on retail grade lights. And the two-piece design tends to allow water and debris to seep into the socket - a common cause of failure with retail grade lights.
As noted above, manufacturers choose high-quality (but more expensive) components for pro grade bulbs. And conversely, manufacturers select the cheapest components for retail grade bulbs to keep prices down.
The cheaper components do result in a payoff for the consumer in the form of lower initial purchase prices. But those low-cost components also tend to fail much sooner than the pricier components used in pro grade bulbs. And there can also be a noticeable difference in visual quality.
Retail grade lights cycle on and off half as frequently as pro grade lights. It makes a difference in the visual quality, often noticed as an obvious flickering in retail grade lights. And some people even experience headaches from the flickering apparent in half-wave rectified retail grade lights.
You can expect retail grade lights to average about 2 to 3 seasons. Over time, that means you'll likely need to buy 2 to 4 sets of retail grade lights to match the lifespan of a single set of pro grade lights.
So…Have You Made Your Decision?
Now that you know the difference between pro grade and retail grade lights, is it clear which would be best for you? In general, people who value short-term cost over long-term quality and durability tend to choose retail grade - even though the long-term costs of price and time may actually be greater with retail grade lights.
Conversely, people who want the best-looking, longest-lasting lights that offer the greatest long-term value will generally choose pro grade. And pro Christmas light installers always choose pro grade, of course! They know how valuable their time is during the busy holiday season.
Hopefully, this little tutorial has helped you decide which grade of lights will best suit your needs. Because considering today's date, there's not much time left for fence-sitting. Whichever grade you prefer, it's time to get those lights ordered! For more information about commercial Christmas light wholesale orders, contact Christmas Designers toll-free at (800) 391-5280.