Chrstmas Lighting Tips #1
I thought as the season approaches and many hobby stores, michaels, Joanns, Hobby Lobby, menards etc are now putting out thier lights and the excitment begins. I wanted to send along some lighting tips for you exterior decorating enthusiasts.
When considering LED(light emmitting Diode) lights. consider this...
200 C7 incandcent bulbs run approximatley 20 AMPS! WHile 200 LED's run about 4AMPS!!
However if you already own C7 strands of lights Consider buying RETROFIT replacment LED's these are 3 diode LED bulbs that will fit in the same stringer wire as your C7 incandecent bulb. 200 run about a dollar each to a dollar 25 each per bulb when purchased in. Bulk. DONT BUY THE C7 LEDs from Lowes or other stores because they are molded into the serial strand sockets. if one bulb should go out your stuck with a strand with a bulb that does not work and you have spent 20.00 for a strand you cannot repair.
Now let me share a trick. you can buy parallel stringers in 25,50, 100, or even 1000 ft legths. these stringers are just the sockts then buy your C7 or C9 leds and put them in the screw in sockets. THIS WAY you can replace the bulb wwithout have to have a complete stringer loss.
Another trick about c7 or c9 socket stringers. if you buy 1000' spools you can cut your sringers to the lenght of your roof line. and and what is called a vampie end. these ends come in male and female ends. these ends dig into the isulation of the wire making a contact. and when running leds' and not incandecents you can run longer runs without affecting the wire integrity.
MINi LED's vs MINI lights. I have found that while Mini led's use less power the costs per strand is really not conducive at 11 dollars a box for 70 count when you can buy a 100 count for 2 to 4 dollars. the power savings over time will not really break even with the cost savings of incandcent minis'. one other point....
c7 and c9 Led's dont perform as well as incandecent bulbs when run off computer controlls. these bulbs dont fade as nice and will step up or down. you will need a recitfier to get these bulbs to do what you want when running computer controolers.
Over the next few weeks I will share some of my best ticks for installing your outside christmas display.