December 18, 2017

Technological Advances Make Holiday Lighting More Fun

 

Battery Christmas Lights Can Be Used In Non-Traditional Ways

Perhaps you’ve seen A Charlie Brown Christmas where Snoopy decorated his dog house with battery Christmas lights and won first place in the neighborhood’s lights and display contest.  Now, you too can decorate with battery Christmas lights. 

 

christmas dogHow about decorating the family pooch with LED battery Christmas lights?  Today’s LED battery Christmas lights allow you to safely give your pet that holiday glow and entertain your guests at the next holiday party.  LED battery Christmas lights are cool-to-the-touch and comfortable to wear.  What can be more fun than hanging icicle lights from your Great Dane or decking your little white dog out in multi-colored LED battery Christmas lights.  So this year, put the “fa la la” into your pooch’s attire with today’s new LED battery Christmas lights.  Decorating with holiday lighting has never been more versatile or easy to adapt to new and creative applications.  With a little imagination, you can illuminate almost anything and bring that Christmas spirit into all parts of your life.  Your pet, car, or even that favorite holiday sweater can sparkle and shine with the glow of battery Christmas lights.

 

Outdoor Xmas Decorations Require Planning and Thought

When illuminating the exterior of your home with Xmas decorations, it is important to have a plan and a theme.  Without both, the resulting Xmas decorations can look like a horrifying display of color and texture.  The number of Xmas decorations available in stores today can result in the, “Hey, it’s on sale and it will look good in my yard this year” mentality.  This holiday enthusiast buys whatever Xmas decorations are on sale with no thought to design, theme, or color.  When home, the Xmas decorations are set up and lit upon dark.  A riot of color and lack of balance confuses the senses.  Neighbors desire that the Xmas decorations be taken down.  A smart decorator will begin with color.  Balance is also important in Xmas decorations.  This will ensure a good flow of attention across your Xmas decorations display.  Novelty yard Xmas decorations require a theme.  It’s not a good idea to place The Grinch directly next to a nativity scene.  Mixing themes in Xmas decorations will look cluttered and out of control.  Be careful, however, of sparsely decorated exteriors.  For example, the thin white outline of lights along the gutters and roof lines looks clean and consistent but is overdone and sterile.  The best Xmas decorations strike a balance between the conservative approach and the non-color coordinated chaos.  Remember always, exterior Xmas decorations are about having fun and expressing creativity.  If unsure, get a second opinion and have a happy holiday.

 

The Little Xmas Lights That CouldC7 LED

One year ago in a distant China workshop, there was a happy little strand of LED Xmas lights that knew it would soon be illuminated and admired.  It was shipped to a store where many unimpressed eyes looked at it then put it back on its shelf.  Many months passed and hope dwindled while the LED Xmas lights sat in the store unlit.  After Christmas it went on sale and remained unhappy in the store.  A few more months passed and during the long hot summer the Xmas lights almost lost hope.  The Christmas season came again, however, and this time there was an increased interest in energy efficient LED Xmas lights due to a weak economy.  The little strand of LED Xmas lights was purchased this time and displayed on a grand Christmas tree to be admired by many.  The LED Xmas lights shined brighter than all the other lights that Christmas.

Irresistible GE Holiday Lights Create Festive Illumination

Tree 

Contemporary Holiday Lights Have More Than a Hundred Year History

Today’s holiday lights have a long history beginning with the General Electric Company, GE.  With its inception of the invention of the first practical incandescent light bulb designed by Thomas Edison, GE’s roots began in 1878. GE is proud to herald itself with a tradition of innovation.  Today, GE is considered the largest company in the world.  GE reports to have provided the basis for modern life with their life changing innovations of power and light.  GE has a continual history of product innovations, including the first holiday lights.  It is reported that the first Christmas tree with electrically lit holiday lights was displayed in December, 1882, in the New York home of Edward H. Johnson, and associate of Thomas Edison.  Electric holiday lights are still hung in this manner more than a century later!  Not only that, Christmas trees decorated with electric holiday lights have become an iconic symbol of Christmas.

 

The Energy Efficient LED Holiday Light Is Becoming Increasingly More Popular

Major retailers are stocking more GE LED holiday lights this year in anticipation of consumer demand for the product.  It is reported that one major retailer expects 65% of its holiday lighting sales to come from LED holiday lights.  The reason for this comes from the economic and ecological advantages that LED holiday lights provide.  Energy efficient LED holiday lights provide many benefits including using little power consumption, long life, recyclable, environmentally friendly, dimmable and programmable, quick turn-on, light-weight and compact, and hard-wearing.  LED holiday lights use 90% less energy than traditional incandescent holiday lights.  GE reports that each LED holiday light string uses 80% less energy costing less than $1.00 per season to operate.  Some LED holiday lights manufacturers report that their lights illuminate between 50,000 and 100,000 hours.  GE has a five year limited warranty on their LED holiday lights with a 20,000 hour rated LED life.  LED holiday lights contain no mercury and are recyclable.  LED holiday lights are dimmable, programmable, cool-to-the-touch, and turn on quickly.  LED holiday lights are durable, break-resistant, light-weight, and compact.  GE also reports to have an exclusive “Constant On” technology that allows the LED holiday lights to function even if a single LED light is loose or not working.  The many economic and ecological advantages are the reason that LED holiday lights are becoming increasingly more popular and quickly flooding the holiday light market.  Jump on the LED bandwagon and brighten your holiday decorations with GE LED holiday lights.

 

New Products Intended For Other Uses Can Be Used As Holiday LED Lights

Holiday LED lights can come from other sources than advertised Christmas lighting products.  LED light products have so many advantages that they can be used for many purposes, including holiday LED lights.  GE introduced a robust and patented LED Tetra lighting system that is reported to burn 15 times the brightness of other LEDs.  GE produced these long-life, high efficiency systems for use indoors and out.  Some applications that LED Tetra lights are used for include signage, architecture, transportation, and display lighting.  Although not produced for holiday LED lights, these power house little lights have received national attention from their use in the 42-inch tall, star-shaped tree topper used on the 2007 and 2008 National Christmas Trees in Washington, D.C.  Holiday LED lights are a smart choice when purchasing Christmas lights.  Make your holiday decorations radiate this year with energy efficient holiday LED lights.

Hanging Holiday Lights in Trees

Outdoor Lights–Not Just in Pines Anymore

Hanging Holiday Lights in TreesOne of the most challenging spots to place Christmas lights is in outdoor trees.  For years people have placed lights on their smaller outdoor pines, but increasingly trees of every shape and size are being adored with blazing holiday lights.

Getting Christmas Lights Up There

Hanging Holiday Lights in Trees 1Hanging holiday lights on trees, especially very tall ones, can be pretty tricky.  If you check around the internet you’ll find lots of ingenious ways to get your lights up there–some that are practical and some that we wouldn’t recommend trying.

One suggestion is to get the longest pole you can find and place three nails in the tip of it in a V shape. Then thread the light string around the nails to hold them in place and hoist them up, placing the light in the tree and then releasing them from the pole.  This method works fairly well but is a bit cumbersome.  It can be quite difficult to manage a pole of a set length.

Yet another solution is to rely on a telescopic tree pruner.  This method is quite popular in the Chicago suburbs where year after year enthusiastic tree trimmers raise their lights into the sky attached to these tools.  Fairly effective, this method’s biggest disadvantage is the investment required to purchase a pruner.

Some websites we came across suggested throwing lights into the tree.  We found this method to be very hit or miss and to result in lights that become very tangled and difficult to remove from the tree after the holidays.  Ditto for attaching Christmas lights to a softball and tossing them into the tree–unless of course, you’re ability to control a softball toss is better than ours.

Yet another method is the tried and true practice of using a ladder.  A fine solution, this only becomes a problem when the tree you’re working on is much taller than your ladder or when ice and snow make the support surface for your ladder treacherous.

Safe & Sure with a Holiday Decorating Company

Hanging Holiday Lights in Trees 2The safest and surest bet for really high trees is to hire a holiday decorating company to do this task for you. Many of these companies opt to use a commercial-style bucket truck to safely reach even the highest branches.  Such a choice can be costly, but it’s certainly safer than taking your chances and being electrocuted as one gentleman in Palo Alto, CA was when he missed his target and entangled his lights in live power lines.

Christmas Decorating With Icicle Lights

Icicle Lights–an All-American Trend

Icicle lights are one of the more recent trends in the category of Christmas lighting.  Evoking the wintry cascade of icicles, these holiday lights have been widely used all around the country.  When planning your Christmas decorating you’ll want to include plenty of icicle lights.

Important Considerations for Holiday Lights

Contribute to the environment by using energy efficient xmas lightA few simple considerations will help your Christmas lighting project go smoothly.  Before you begin hanging your lights, formulate a plan.  Icicle lights are especially conducive to use along the roof line where they simulate the effect of winter’s own icicles.  Other good uses for icicle lights are placing across the tops of windows or affixing them to the branches of trees–all places where Mother Nature herself would place her own icicles.  Resist the temptation to place icicle lights in places where they would never accumulate naturally.  Doing so just looks silly.

Using Holiday Lights Safely
xmas decorating with Icicle lightsWhen shopping for holiday lights be sure to look for the UL (Under Writer’s Laboratory) rating.  This is a fairly good indicator that the lights have been manufactured according to safety standards that will not pose a hazard for you or your home.  When selecting lights for your Christmas decorating project be sure to purchase the right type of lights for the job.

Use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights for outdoor applications.  Using holiday lights in the incorrect application can pose a danger and adversely affect the longevity of your Christmas decorations. Outdoor lights are designed to stand up to harsh outdoor weather conditions, while some lights are designed specifically for indoor use such as on trees.

A final suggestion is to consider a timer for managing your display of Christmas lighting.  Timers allow you to program the hours you wish your display to be actively lit and save you the hassle of turning lights on and off.  Timers are available for both indoor and outdoor applications, so choose the one that best meets the requirements of your Christmas decorating display.

LED xmas lights make holiday decorating greener 4

What are LED Christmas Lights?

In recent years, LED Christmas lights have proven to be a more durable, energy efficient and cost effective way of illuminating your home around the holidays. They use much less wattage, they run 50-times longer and are safer all around. But what exactly is this technology, and more importantly, why is it so much more efficient than the run-of-the-mill incandescent bulbs?

Why LED for Holiday Lights?

what are led xmas lights 48Let’s look at a little history of LED technology: The discovery of LED technology is thanks to a Russian radio technician named Oleg Vladimirovich Losev who discovered in the 1920s, that the diodes in radios emitted light. In fact, LED stands for light-emitting diode. LED technology is based on the movement of electrons through a electric diode and when the diode is turned on, energy is released in the form of light.

While Losev is credited to the discovery, any practical use wasn’t discovered until the 1960s when a General Electric employee named Nick Holoyak Jr. developed the modern light-emitting diode. But it wasn’t until 1968 when Hewlett Packard found a real use for the technology in their calculators. Since their inception, it has been realized that LED technology was much more energy efficient than using incandescent lighting, but was more expensive because it required a more exact science. It was in 1998 when LEDs were being used for Christmas lighting.

what are led xmas lights 48 1LEDs Used in Christmas Decor

Today, America is beginning to switch over to LEDs in all aspects such as lawn lighting, outdoor home lighting and Christmas lighting. In 2007, the famous Rockefeller Center tree in New York City was illuminated with 100% LED lights. In today’s tough times, the fairly new technology is gaining large momentum in the holiday decorating industry is saving businesses and consumers lots of money by cutting back 75% of holiday energy consumption while stimulating the economy.

LED String Lights to The Rescue

In with the new, out with the old
LED string lights to the rescueIntrigued by LED string lights but don’t know anything about them? Tired of dealing with incandescent lights but don’t know of any other alternatives? Decorating and preparing for the holidays can be a bit overwhelming at times, so use this guide to see how and why LED Christmas lights are the more efficient and longer-lasting light sources for enjoying holiday lighting.

Perks of using LED string lights

One of the biggest advantages of owning LED lights over incandescent ones is the amount of energy they save. While a set of 50 incandescent lights use about 300 watts of energy, a set of 50 LED lights use only 4 watts of energy, meaning you can save up to 90 percent on your next energy bill while preserving the environment.

Worried about safety? Built with solid, flameproof plastic non-breakable materials, you will never have to worry about leaving your lights alone anymore. Even after being on for a couple of hours, LED lights will never get hot like incandescent lights due to the material they are made out of. On top of that, LED lights contain no Mercury, eliminating all risk of toxic exposure.

Why LED lead the pack
LED string lights to the rescue 1Like to save money? LED string lights last about 100 times longer than average incandescent lights, allowing you to spend some of that Christmas money you save up each year on presents rather than holiday decorations. Burn-out bulbs will no longer be a problem since LED lights typically have a 100,000 hour life span compared to 2,000 hours for incandescent bulbs.

Along with saving you money, LED lights come in a variety of colors that help create that perfect holiday atmosphere. With colors like red and green, purple and blue, you have many options at your disposal. LED bulbs are also 10 times brighter than incandescent bulbs, allowing you to fully showcase your decorations to others.

Holiday Organization: Storing those Pesky Little Icicle Lights

Have you joined the holiday trend of draping your home in beautiful, cascading icicle lights?   If you have, then you know the holiday fun is really over when it’s time to take them down and store them for next year.   Wrapping, bagging, twisting, turning or balling them up– finding a way to store holiday icicle lights is a real challenge.  If hanging the holiday lights is your job for next winter, you have a vested interest in getting them put away right.

How to Keep Icicle Lights Tangle-Free

holiday organization storing those pesky little icide lightsKeeping icicle lights tangle-free doesn’t have to be impossible.  A variety of methods are available to help make storage of these outdoor xmas lights easier.  One suggestion is laying your light strings out on plastic sheets, then taping them in place so the icicles don’t tangle.  Once taped down, you simply roll the plastic sheets up and secure them for storage.  Yet another method is to wrap your icicle lights around a plastic frame such as those that extension cords are sold on.  This type of frame is also often seen in fabric and hobby stores.  Ribbon and trimmings are often displayed on them. If you’re a crafter and can get your regular store to throw in the plastic frame, you’re in luck with your Xmas icicle lights!

Eliminate the Hassle of Ever Storing Your Holiday Lights Again

holiday organization storing those pesky little icide lights 1An even better idea is to get someone to handle your holiday lighting display for you.  Many companies around the country are now offering the service of designing, hanging, and even wrapping and storing your holiday lighting display for you.  To see what these companies have to offer try checking out some of these sites. They’re all highly professional residential and commercial holiday lighting contractors.

www.holiday-concepts-il.com,

www.luminariaslimited.com

www.christmasdecor.net.

Low Priced Icicle Light Alternatives for the Do-It-Yourselfer

If you think hiring a firm to manage your holiday lights is taking it just a step too far, you might consider mimicking what they do with icicle lights.  Many of these professional lighting experts offer icicle lights that are permanently attached to metal frames.  If you’re handy, you might consider attaching your own icicle lights to metal or even wooden slats for easier and permanent display and storage.  Icicle lights can be wrapped around slats and affixed with thin gauge wire or carefully stapled to strips of wood.   Whatever method you choose, based on how much time, money and effort you’re willing to invest, you’re sure to have an eye popping display this upcoming holiday season.

Some History of LED Christmas Lighting

Today, LED Christmas lights are being purchased every holiday season to replace their old incandescent string lights. They save money and frustration, but where did this holiday decorating phenomenon come from?

A Short History of Christmas String Lights

some history of led xmas lighting 58The tradition of lighting a tree for the celebration of Christmas originates in Germany in the 1600s and was only done by the most wealthy of people. In contrast to today’s electrical holiday lights, the trees were lit with many candles. The main purpose was not to illuminate the tree, but to shed light on the ornaments hung on the tree.

In 1882, while finding new uses for the incandescent light bulb, Thomas Edison’s assistant Howard Johnson conceived the idea of using smaller bulbs to light a Christmas tree. A great feat was accomplished when he lit up a tree in New York City with 80 small bulbs. It took about 20 years before electric Christmas lights were available in stores throughout the country.

LEDs Used in Holiday Lights

Oleg Vladimirovich Losev, a Russian radio technician, was the first to discover the LED (Light-Emitting Diode) technology while working on a radio in 1927. He found that one of the electrical diodes in the radio was emitting a fairly bright light. There was no real practical use for this technology until 1968 when the company Hewlett Packard starting using a small LED in its calculators.

some history of led xmas lighting 58 1Throughout the next three decades, the evolution of LEDs was ongoing. In the ‘70s, LEDs replaced incandescent indicator lights in machinery and electronics and through the ‘80s and ‘90s, different colors were introduced and according to christmas-lights-advice.com, it wasn’t until 1998 when LEDs were implemented into mini Christmas lights. And since then, LED Christmas lights have transformed into a low-energy, long-lasting staple in holiday decorating, saving Americans hundreds of dollars a year.

LED Lights: The Future of Holiday Lighting

Tired of looking for that one bulb that burnt out? Are strings of holiday lights running up your energy bill? Do your Christmas tree lights run way too hot? If so, you need to look into LED lighting.

Since their inception, lights have been a staple in the holiday decorating process. A reindeer here, a wreath there, but no decorated home is complete without some strings of lights around the house as well as the tree. Only until recent years has LED technology become present in Christmas lights, but in these tough times they couldn’t have come soon enough.

LED Lighting Advantages

Many tests have been run to contrast the standard incandescent to the newly sought after LED technology. After comparison, tests showed that there are amazing advantages to using LED lights, but like anything else does not rule out some drawbacks.

Power Consumption

Consumer Reports writes that after testing LED against incandescent lights, LED tremendously outperformed the latter. The test showed that LED used up to 33% less power than their outdated brethren. They go on to say that they can save you ten dollars every 300 hours. It looks like LED has the power!

Sustainability

Now that we know that you can save some bucks from using LEDs, you probably want to know what your investment can get you. Well it turns out that LEDs can burn up to 4000 hours without quitting! Incandescents were reported to burn out in half that time. According to Wisegeek.com, LED lights are “Used often in the dashboards of jet planes – so burn out after one season is highly unlikely.” Things are looking bright for LEDs – maybe not that bright.

Brightness

With any relationship there is some give and take and this one is no different. While the LEDs may have won in the bang-for-your-buck category, they fail to out-glow the incandescents. Consumer Reports says that while LEDs may run cooler, it is because of this that they are dimmer. Productdose.com also says that while the dimness of LEDs is not very significant in the comparison of incandescants, the drawback of the lower power is a more focused light rather than a halo-like glow.

Replacement

You’ll be glad to know that if by some chance one of your new LED lights does burn out, it is a piece of cake to getting them all glowing again. Unlike incandescent lights, individual LEDs do not contain a filament that will shut off all the other lights on the string. According to Wisegeek.com, they instead use light emitting diodes that run off the movement of electrons inside the bulbs.

After close review of the two competitors, there is no doubt that LED has come out on top. In four basic grades of value, LEDs take home three. It appears, without pun intended, that incandescents cannot hold a candle to the awesomeness of LED lighting for your every holiday needs.

The Evolution of Christmas Decorations

Prevalence of Christmas Decorations
the evolution of xmas decorationsYou might not have ever thought about it, but Christmas decorations haven’t always been so prevalent.  Can you imagine there was a time when December didn’t bring streets lined with brightly lit homes and sparkling trees? Or can you picture a time when downtown streets and shops weren’t lit with festive holiday lights?

You probably can’t, but believe it or not, in the big scheme of things such a time was not that long ago.  In the 2,000 or so years since the birth of Christ, it’s only within the last 150 years or so that Christmas decorations have been so prevalent in the United States.

Festive Lighting–A Little History

the evolution of xmas decorations 1Although Christmas decorations per se are relatively new, for millennia, light has been an integral part of religious and spiritual festivals celebrating the cycle of life.  Ancient peoples recognized light and the importance of it to life itself and therefore assigned it an important position.  Symbolic, ceremonial use of festive lighting became a staple fairly early on in the course of humanity.

the evolution of xmas decorations 2Traditionally, the Jews used light to indicate the beginning and end of their most holy day–Shabbat or the Sabbath.  The lighting of Friday night Shabbat candles to this day begins the Sabbath at sundown and ends it Saturday evening with the lighting of the elegant twisted Havdalah candle.  Since the Jews used candlelight for signifying the beginning of all the important festivals like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Tu Be Shevat and Passover, it was only natural that when Christianity developed as an offshoot of this religion that the use of candlelight followed down this new path.

The Origins of Christmas Light Displays in the US.
the evolution of xmas decorations 3Over the centuries the use of festive lighting in the world’s religions continued, but not until the mid-nineteenth century did Christmas take on the significance that would make it stand out as a day different than any other in the relatively new country–the United States.  At this time the Germans are credited with bringing the first Christmas tree to the US.  Initially, citizens were reluctant to bring a tree into their home.  It just didn’t make sense to them.  Imagine Grandmother’s horror when a dirty tree came into the house.  But, as is common in all generations,  youth prevailed, pursued the trends of the times and eventually the Christmas tree became the staple it is in our homes today.

Beginning with just a small decorated tree in the home, the tradition of Christmas light displays and eventually extensive decorating and holiday lights of all kinds began.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe that the expansive holiday lighting we see each year began so humbly with man’s homage to the life-giving light of the sun.

the evolution of xmas decorations 4Contribute to the environment by using energy efficient xmas lightthe evolution of xmas decorations 5