Holiday Lighting Guide

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        <p> is proud to present our holiday lighting guide.
        This guide has been prepared by our lighting professionals to help
        you get the most out of your decorating this holiday season. This
        guide is full of useful information related to choosing the best
        lighting for your project, basic lighting maintenance, and
        decorating options.</p>

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                <img alt="Getting Started Holiday Lighting" height="178"
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                <h3>Getting Started</h3>

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                <img alt="Maintaining Holiday Lighting" height="178" src=
                "/images/xmas/smBulbs.jpg" width="201"> <a href=
                <h3>Maintenance</h3></a> <a href="#fail">When Lights
                <a href="#power">Power Setup</a><br>
                <a href="#replacement">Replacements</a>

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                <img alt="Decorating with Holiday Lighting" height="178"
                src="/images/xmas/smDecorate.jpg" width="201"> <a href=
                <h3>Decorating</h3></a> <a href="#tree">Your Tree</a><br>
                <a href="#yard">Your Yard</a><br>
                <a href="#roof">Your Roof</a><br>
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        <h2>Getting Started</h2>

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        "Tips for Holiday Lighting" height="240" src=
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        <h3>Important Tips</h3>

        <p><strong>1. Do not connect cords of different numbers of
        This is the most common mistake people make with Christmas lights.
        Never connect a 100 light set to a 50 light set. If you do, the 50
        light set will burn out prematurely. The same goes for any other

        <p><strong>2. Do not overload extension cords.</strong><br>
        A regular 9 ft. extension cord with a three plug receptacle will
        handle 3 light sets <em>of the same length</em> per receptacle. You
        can vary sets with different number of lights on an extension cord,
        but as with wall receptacles, not in the same receptacle.</p>

        <p><strong>3. Do not connect lighted tree toppers or novelty light
        sets into other end to end plugs.</strong><br>
        Following the mixing of lights rule, you cannot connect a lighted
        tree topper or novelty light set (usually containing 10-30 lights)
        to other sets of end to end lights and not expect premature
        burnout. Use a dedicated plug outlet and an extension cord to
        accommodate tree toppers and novelty lights.</p>

        <p><strong>4. Plug in light strings before putting them on the
        Plugging in lights allows you to find missing or burned out bulbs
        before you decorate your tree and helps you to evenly distribute
        the lights throughout the tree.</p>

        <p><strong>5. Plug light strings into a surge
        As an extra deterrent to overload, and to protect your lights from
        voltage spikes, plug your lights into a surge protector.</p>

        <p><strong>6. Use replacement bulbs of the correct voltage and
        Replacement bulbs are not all the same. They may vary in voltage
        and bulb type. For example, you cannot replace a 35 light set bulb
        with a 50 light set bulb because a 35 light set uses a 3.5 volt
        bulb while a 50 light set uses a 2.5 volt bulb. You also cannot,
        for instance, replace a Perm-O-Snap bulb with a standard
        twist-proof bulb.</p>

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        <p>Looking for a beautiful, hassle-free lighting display this
        holiday season? This comprehensive guide from will
        help you conquer any lighting problem you may encounter.</p><a id=
        "tree" name="tree"></a>

        <h3>Decorating Your Christmas Tree</h3>

        <p>The most iconic symbol of the holiday season is the family tree.
        Decorating this symbol of Christmas cheer tastefully and
        beautifully can be a challenge. Keeping that in mind,
        suggests 3 simple tips to make your tree more beautiful―and your
        decorating easier―than it has ever been.</p>

        <h4>Tip #1: Keep replacements on hand</h4>

        <p>When you find the perfect lights for your tree, you want to have
        replacements that match. Buy a set or two more than you need in
        case a string goes bad sometime over the holiday season. Also make
        sure to have plenty of replacement bulbs because "borrowing" bulbs
        from another set can cause burnouts and is potentially dangerous,
        especially if the bulbs are of different voltages.</p>

        <h4>Tip #2: Test your lights first</h4>We've all done this before:
        We decorate the entire tree only to notice afterward that an entire
        string is dead! To avoid this, plug in each set of lights to make
        sure they work. Test for burned out bulbs and partially dead
        strings with a <a href=
        "/category/christmas-light-testers">tester</a> and avoid the hassle
        and embarrassment of having to redecorate your tree halfway through
        Christmas dinner.

        <h4>Tip #3: Light your tree section by section</h4>

        <p>Don't light your tree all at once. To make sure your tree is
        evenly lighted, hang lights section by section and make corrections
        as you go. You might also try following an "S" or "wave" pattern
        instead of simply "wrappping" your tree.</p><a id="yard" name=

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        "Decorating Tips for Christmas Lights" height="240" src=
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        <h3>Hanging lights in your yard</h3>

        <p>Want the best looking Christmas decorations on the block?
        Decorating the outside of your home may seem like a daunting task,
        but with the right decorations and technique, it can be just as
        easy as decorating your Christmas tree.</p>

        <p>First, make sure your lights are approved by outdoor use. Do
        this by checking the UL Listing tag at the end your light string.
        Those marked "Indoor/Outdoor" can be used, whereas those marked
        "Indoor Use Only" should never be used outdoors under <em>any</em>
        circumstances. Using lights or decorations not approved for outdoor
        use can cause premature burnouts, electrical shorts, or even a

        <p>When you are sure you have the properly approved lights, bushes
        and shrubs are usually the best place to start decorating. offers several lighting choices for bushes and
        shrubs: <a href="/search/?q=mini+lights">Mini Lights</a> are
        typically used over <a href="/search/?q=c7+and+c9">C7 and C9
        strings</a>, but both can be used. Decorating bushes and shrubs is
        much like decorating your indoor tree. Wrap or drape your lights in
        the fashion that most evenly distributes your lights. Use an "S"
        pattern to maximize your results. <a href=
        "/search/?q=net+lights">Net Lights</a> are an even easier option
        that some decorators prefer: Simply cast them on the bush or shrub
        like a net and pull them back off when the holiday season is

        <p>Do you have more trees than bushes? If so, you can really go for
        the "wow" factor by turning your outdoor trees into giant Christmas
        trees. Start with the trunk of the tree. Mini lights work fine
        here, but <a href="/search/?q=trunk+lights">Trunk Lights</a> are
        even better. Don't stop there! Branches and leaves can be decorated
        as well. Drape Mini Lights or C7 strings in a random pattern
        throughout the branches and watch your yard really light up.</p>

        <p>Using the right <a href="/search/?q=stakes">stakes</a> and
        <a href="/search/?q=clips">clips</a>, you can also accent you
        sidewalks and driveways with C7 light strings to give carolers a
        festive pathway right your front door.</p><a id="roof" name=

        <h3>Hanging Roof Lights</h3>

        <h4>Practice electrical safety</h4>

        <p>At, we want you to have Clark Griswold's lights,
        but we also want you to be safe. Use the properly approved <a href=
        "/search/?q=extention+cords">extension cords</a> and always plug
        them into an electrical outlet protected by a ground fault circuit
        interrupter or GFCI. Remember that these lights will most likely
        get wet and will be exposed to the elements, so always use lights
        that are UL Approved for Indoor/Outdoor Use. And if your lights
        trip a breaker, don't just flip it back; reduce the load of that
        circuit by plugging some of your light strings into another

        <h4>Buy the right lights in the right amount</h4>

        <p>With the exception of <a href="/search?q=Icicle+lights">Icicle
        Lights</a>, mini lights are rarely used on roofs as they simply
        don't put off enough light. <a href=
        "/search/?q=c7+light+strings">C7 light strings</a> (7/8 in.
        diameter) are most commonly used and <a href=
        "/search/?q=C9+light+strings">C9 light strings</a> (1-1/8 in
        diameter) are also used for a truly bright display. Most C7 and C9
        strings are 25 ft. long, so an average home (with a 100 ft. roof)
        will use at least 4 strings.</p>

        <h4>Test your lights</h4>

        <p>Having a perfectly trimmed house means nothing is your strings
        won't light up, so never hang your lights without first testing
        them. Even before plugging your strings in, look for broken or
        missing bulbs and replace them with the correct replacements. If
        your wires are worn, don't patch them; replace the entire string.
        And for those strings that just won't light, try a <a href=
        "/search/?q=bulb+tester">bulb tester</a> to easily find loose or
        dead bulbs. If all your bulbs are in working order and the string
        still won't light, follow the manufacturer's instructions to to
        replace a burned out fuse.</p>

        <h4>Hang your lights</h4>

        <p>Despite what the movies may say, staple guns are the worst―and
        most unsafe―way to hang Christmas lights. Staples will also damage
        your roof. To hang your lights like the pros do, use the
        appropriate <a href="/search/?q=clips">clips</a> to hang your
        lights. Shingle tabs work best for mounting lights along the
        perimeter of your roof, while gutter hooks and gutter clips work
        best for hanging Icicle lights from gutters. Omni All-In-One clips
        work well for multiple types of light strings and decorations, and
        for a variety of surfaces. Clips should always be spaced no more
        than 12 inces apart.</p>

        <h4>Go Green!</h4>

        <p>With advancements in energy-saving LED technology, decorating
        your home for Christmas is no longer environmentally irresponsible.
        Are your C7 or C9 bulbs burned out? Instead of replacing them with
        incandescent replacements, buy a box of <a href=
        "/search/?q=LED+replacements">LED replacements</a> instead and cut
        your energy usage by more than 20%. Also consider replacing your
        old light strings with <a href="/search/?q=LED+Light+Strings">LED
        strings</a>. For even more savings, use one of our <a href=
        "/category/lighting-controls/">outdoor rated timers</a> from
        Intermatic to control your lights for you and save energy at the
        same time.</p>

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        <p>Christmas lights and other holiday decorations are notorious for
        being poorly manufactured and unreliable. Our Christmas lights are
        commercial grade, with greater durability and quality than our
        competitors. However, should you experience problems with our
        lights, or any Christmas light set, the following guides offer
        advice and solutions to the most common Christmas light
        problems.</p><a id="fail" name="fail"></a>

        <h3>WHAT TO DO WHEN LIGHTS FAIL</h3>

        <div class="large-3 columns right"><img alt=
        "Holiday Lighting Maintenance advice" height="240" src=
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            <li>Check that all circuits are on and that all plugs are
            plugged into a sufficient power source.</li>

            <li>Check the plug fuses of the light set. If the filament
            within the fuse is broken, replace the fuse. It is also
            sometimes necessary to spread plug prongs of plugs to insure
            circuit contact. This is a common problem.</li>

            <li>While the light set is plugged into a sufficient current,
            run a finger slowly over the bulb tops. If the light set comes
            on while touching a particular bulb, this bulb is most likely
            causing a short in the circuit. Remove and replace this bulb.
            In this case, the wire was not making contact with the light

            <li>Check that the appropriate amount of light sets are plugged
            into each other, end to end. There should be no more than two
            (2) sets of lights plugged into each other.</li>

            <li>If the lights are plugged into an extension cord, there may
            be an overload. Make sure there are not too many lights plugged
            into the cord. Also check the plug fuse of the extension cord.
            <strong>*NOTE* It is always best to check any light set while
            it is plugged into a wall plug outlet.</strong></li>

            <li>Should a light set be burning brighter than normal, there
            are most likely more than eight (8) to fifteen (15) bulbs that
            have burned out. Find and replace those bulbs that are not
            working. <strong>Do not replace burned out bulbs while the
            light set is plugged in.</strong> This will cause a current
            surge and will burn out the new bulb.</li>

            <li>When replacing aburned-out bulbin a minilight set, it is
            helpful to use a tester. This will dramatically simplify the
            repair of light sets on both trees and displays. To use the
            tester, plug one light set into the plug outlet on the light
            tester. Push the test button on the tester; a buzzing sound
            will come from any defective bulbs. Remove and replace the
            bulb(s). On light sets of over fifty lights (light spheres, 100
            light sets, etc.), remove one bulb from the end of the set or
            sphere, and plug the light into the tester. Push the test
            button. Remove and replace the bulb. Continue testing each
            light until the defective light is found.</li>
        </ol><a id="power" name="power"></a>

        <h3>Power Setup</h3>

        <p>You don't need to read your electric bill to know that outdoor
        Christmas lights can draw a huge amount of power. 100 feet of
        incandescent C9 bulbs, for instance, draw 3 and half times more
        power than most televisons! Needless to say, if you plug too many
        light strings into one plug, you will quickly overload that

        <p>Most homes have a 16 amp plug in the front and back yard;
        however, that circuit is usually shared with a room in the home, so
        not all 16 amps are usable. If you are planning a large Christmas
        light display, it is wise to calculate the number of amps your
        Christmas lights and decorations draw to make sure it is far less
        than 16 amps.</p>

        <p>Amperage is usually posted on the UL tag at one end of your
        light string. If it is not, use this formula to determine the
        amperage of your light strings:</p>

        <p>Number of Feet x Number of Watts Per Bulb / 125 Volts = Number
        of Amps</p>

        <h4>Using the example above:</h4>

        <p>100 Feet of C9 Bulbs x 7 Watts per Bulb / 125 Volts = 5.6

        <p>Assuming other electrical devices are not using this circuit,
        you could plug additional lights or decorations into your outdoor
        plug. However, you should check the UL tag for maximum connections
        (usually 3) before plugging additional lights in end-to-end.</p>

        <p>Note: Most Mini Light strings are not rated in watts, but amps,
        so the math is done for you.</p><a id="replacement" name=

        <h3>Bulb Replacement</h3>

            <li>Grasp the plug and remove it from the receptacle or other
            outlet device. Do not unplug the string by pulling on the

            <li>Pinch the grooves on the sides of the socket. Gently pull
            the lamp base upwards.</li>

            <li>Align the grooves in the base of the replacement lamp with
            the grooves in the socket.</li>

            <li>Gently push the lamp into the socket until you hear a SNAP.
            That means the lamp base is locked in place.</li>

            <li>Replace the lamp only with a matching lamp from the

            <li>In case the lamp base of new replacement lamp does not fit
            lamp holder:

                    <li>Remove the lamp from its base by straightening the
                    wires and pulling the lamp out of the base.</li>

                    <li>Insert the new lamp into the base by fitting wires
                    thought the two holes in the bottom of the base and
                    then bending the wires up onto the sides of the

                    <li>Insert the completed lamp/base unit into lamp

        <h3>Fuse Replacement</h3>

            <li>Grasp the plug and remove it from the receptacle or other
            outlet device. Do not unplug the string by pulling on the

            <li>Open the fuse cover. Slide open the panel located on the
            top of the attachment plug towards the blades to expose the two

            <li>Remove the fuse carefully by turning the attachment plug

            <li>To avoid the risk of fire, replace the fuse only with the
            correct amperage replacement fuse (check packaging).</li>

            <li>Close the fuse cover by sliding the panel on top of the
            attachment plug.</li>

        <p><em>Risk of fire. Do not replace attachment plug. Contains a
        safety device (fuse) that should not be removed. Discard product if
        the attachment plug is damaged.</em></p>