May 23, 2019

Solar Christmas Lights

Solar Christmas lights are one of a number of money saving ideas that could help you decorate your home in the strained economic times of this holiday season.  Unlike many money saving ideas, this one is cost effective and allows you the added benefit of doing something green to benefit our environment. 


Why Should I Go Solar?

 Investing in solar Christmas lights can eliminate one of the highest ticket items on your holiday decorating list– electricity for your display.  In place of the power draining strings that can use up to 100 watts a piece, solar Christmas lights work 100% by using the no-cost energy of the sun.  These power-saving light sets work in exactly the same way as the solar lights commonly used in landscape lighting. 

A solar Christmas light set consists of a string of lights attached to a controller board.  The board is made up of a battery, solar cells and a light sensor.  The light sensor gathers the light, activating the solar cells (photovoltaic cells) convert the sunlight into electricity.  The produced electricity is then used to charge the battery that powers the Christmas lights.  On a bright, sunny day, the cells can take in enough sunlight to totally recharge the battery that powers the outdoor string lights.  Should the wintry days be cloudy, the cells will still recharge but may not totally recharge the battery.  If this is the case, the lights will not stay lit as long as they would if totally recharged. 

Solar Christmas light sets use the industry’s new darling, LED lights. These LED (light emitting diode) bulbs asolar coverre more efficient to operate than traditional electric Christmas lights, making them the ideal choice for use with sunlight-dependent solar cells.  You’ll find solar Christmas lights to be particularly bright and clear and available in a variety of bulb colors and string lengths. In addition some manufacturers are offering inflatable solar light covers that drape over your lights and create images like this snowman available from




Outdoor Christmas Lights–A Family Tradition



A Family Tradition –Preparing Electric Christmas Lights

family hanging lightsPreparing electric Christmas lights each year is a great opportunity to start parent-child bonding and a family tradition.  Electric Christmas lights need to be unrolled, detangled, and tested for illuminated light bulbs.  This provides a wonderful opportunity for a parent to show a child how to be careful in handling electric wires and cautious in untangling delicate light bulbs.  As exemplified in the 1989 movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Clark Griswold asked his son, Rusty, to help him prepare the electric Christmas lights for the annual outdoor holiday decorating.  The electric Christmas lights are wound in a tight ball with mini-light bulbs jutting out in all directions.  Rusty is assigned the fun task of unrolling and detangling these tightly bound balls of electric Christmas lights.  Clark also tells Rusty to test each and every electric Christmas light bulb.  This, invariably should take hours, but Rusty manages to accomplish his task in record time.  The electric Christmas lights are prepared and hung within a few hours.  What a great example Clark makes to other parents who want to spend quality time with their children.


Exercise Great Care When Securing Outdoor String Lights

Hanging and securing outdoor string lights must be a cautious task.  Always use special care when working with electrical wires, including outdoor string lights.  Clark Griswold needed to be more careful in securing the outdoor string lights to the roof and eaves of his house.  He needed help with steadying the ladder to secure himself against the two-story home so he could carefully staple the outdoor string lights to the roof’s eaves.  When he lost his balance, he lost control of the outdoor string lights, grabbed onto the gutters and ripped part of them off the house.  This caused a long sharp and pointed icicle to go flying from the gutters of his home right through the window of his next-door neighbor’s house.  Up on the rooftop, he strung an abundance of parallel outdoor string lights in rows covering its entire surface.  He also accidentally stapled the wrist cuff of his jacket to the roof and pulled up many outdoor string lights in the process of tearing his coat.  Perhaps Clark should have asked a family member for help with this project.  There are hanging clips available today that are a much better option than stapling when hanging outdoor string lights.


Yard Lighting and Novelty Objects — A Fun Way To Decorate The Lawn 

Another tradition families can participate in each year is yard lighting and decorating.  Yard lighting and novelty tacky-lights-richmond-va-300x245Eobjects can create a festive mood during the holiday season.  Clark Griswold placed Santa’s sleigh and reindeer in the front yard of his house that, unfortunately, went flying high into the sky when there was a nearby chemical explosion.  It wound up being a magical moment for all to see.  These objects went from being illuminated with yard lighting to being lit by the moonlight.  Yard lighting creates a fantastic compliment to home lighting and both provide a cheerful holiday atmosphere.  Home and yard lighting are a wonderful way to bond with family members and carry on family traditions.  When Clark’s father, Clark Wilhelm Griswold, Sr., complimented him on his wonderful decorations and yard lighting, Clark thanked his father for teaching him everything he knew.  Outdoor Christmas lights used for home and yard lighting are a fun, joyful way to spend quality time with our loved ones and carry on family traditions.

How to Hang Outdoor Christmas Lights (Cont. 1)

Electric Christmas Lights Shine Bright and Illuminate the Night

How to Hang Outdoor Christmas LightsThe story of the first electrically lit Christmas tree says Edward H. Johnson, an associate of Thomas Edison, had electric Christmas lights made especially for himself.  The first known electric Christmas tree, as pictured here, was reportedly displayed in Johnson’s New York home in December, 1882.  Electric Christmas lights are still hung in this manner, indoors and outdoors, more than a century later!  Clearly, people love the luminescent luxury of decorating for the holidays using electric Christmas lights.  One of the easiest ways to hang electric Christmas lights is to start from the bottom and move upwards in a ribbon candy pattern, an “S” curve, that travels back and forth around one-third of the tree at a time.  Electric Christmas lights can also be used to outline a building or landscaping.  Hanging Christmas lights on a building is best done using lighting clips.  Small and transparent plastic clips are good for attaching lights to gutters or roofs and are discrete enough to allow them to be hung year-round and reused in future years.

Battery-Operated Christmas Lights Are Safe and Easy to Use

How to Hang Outdoor Christmas Lights 1Battery-operated Christmas lights are the perfect answer when deciding how to hang outdoor Christmas lights where electrical outlets are not available or are hard to reach.  The freedom and ease of battery-operated Christmas lights allows anyone who wants to illuminate their outdoors to do so without the inconvenience of unsightly extension cords.  A small battery pack powers light sets for a long time and allows for discrete camouflage.  Holiday decorating can be safe and easy with the convenience of battery-operated Christmas lights.

Solar-Powered Christmas Lights Glow with Radiant Energy

go green with solar string lights 1Solar-powered Christmas lights are a dream-come true for “green” enthusiasts.  These energy efficient lights use an energy panel that collects radiant energy from the sun during the day to power a battery that automatically turns on when dark providing light throughout the night.  Hung in the same manner as all other string lights, solar-powered Christmas lights can decorate trees, shrubs, and buildings.  Solar-powered Christmas lights have the convenience of battery-operated Christmas lights and the advantage of being the most energy-efficient and the best for the environment.  Like battery-operated Christmas lights, solar-powered Christmas lights can be easily transported from one location to another.  Light up your holidays with solar-powered Christmas lights.