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Christmas Decorations Christmas is a hands-on art. From the lights we put on the house to the decorations we put on the tree to the great foods we eat in the process, Christmas is a time of doing -- and this is the place we gather to talk, plan and share.


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  #1  
Old 07-21-2010, 09:19 PM
Clark Griswold Clark Griswold is offline
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tree Best Christmas Tree Lights - Where?

I am hoping the great minds here can help me. Every year we do a white light Christmas tree. This year, we are thinking of going vintage. We want colored mini lights and c7 solid lights. Problem is, where do we find quality lights?

I ask this because we have a set of GE or Sylvania colored lights, white cord around the fireplace. We left them up since Christmas last year because believe it or not, it looks good! We get many compliments. The issue - even before Christmas was over, the lights were burning out. The string now has about 15 lights burnt out. That's terrible. I think it might have something to do with them being "lower wattage" or whatever? I don't know.

We just want some really nice lights. Lights that will last quite a few years and not end up as land fill because they are cheap POS! I know some understand my frustrations.


Lastly, what is the "normal" color combination of lights? Some sets have..

- red, blue, green, purple, orange
- red, blue, green, purple, orange, teal
- red, blue, green, purple, orange, yellow

What's the scoop on that? Any help on this would be greatly appreciated!



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Old 07-22-2010, 07:36 AM
Clark Griswold Clark Griswold is offline
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Also - LED lights are OUT OF THE QUESTION! I hate them and only want traditional lights. Thanks
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:35 AM
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Maybe commercial-grade light sets are what you're looking for:

Commericial-Grade Miniature Lights
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:52 AM
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C7 Christmas Lights in Depth

C7 Christmas bulbs do make a great vintage look that a lot of people like, but if you are choosing to leave your lights up all year, you will experience bulb burnout. Incandescent bulbs only have a total life expectancy of 3,000 hours, as opposed to LED bulbs which can last up to 200,000 hours. LEDs also do not break, so you would have that in your favor.

If you are choosing to stick with incandescent bulbs because of the colors they give off, then your best bet is to spend a few extra dollars and purchase the strings and bulbs separately, and consider purchasing an additional 1-2 boxes of bulbs to ensure that when bulbs do burn out, you have replacements of the same paint color. Different grades of bulbs offer different levels of color, with the cheaper bulbs only being dipped once or twice, and higher grade bulbs having been triple dipped in paint. You also want to replace bad bulbs immediately, or a cascading effect may begin, which causes good bulbs to burn out faster.

As far as the multicolor bulbs, purple is not a common color used in multicolor arrangements. Multicolor Christmas C7 and C9 bulbs are typically either:
  • Red, Blue, Green, Orange (Amber), Yellow (Gold)
  • Red, Blue, Green, Orange (Amber), White

I hope this helps!
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:02 AM
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Jeanette,

You'd be just the person to ask about this: are C7 and other traditional incandescent Christmas lights going away? They seem to be getting harder to find -- and more expensive, too.

There is something about the quality of LED lights that bug me. I'm finding the switch difficult to make.

Jeff
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Westover View Post
Jeanette,

You'd be just the person to ask about this: are C7 and other traditional incandescent Christmas lights going away? They seem to be getting harder to find -- and more expensive, too.

There is something about the quality of LED lights that bug me. I'm finding the switch difficult to make.

Jeff
I second this. I love the idea that LEDs have a much longer bulb life and use much less electricity, but they don't look right to me ... compared with incandescent mini-lights, the colors look wrong, and the light seems harsh. Can you recommend any LEDs that are closest to the look of minis?
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:39 AM
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I have to agree with MerryCarey and Jeff; LED lights are just not the same. They vibrate, or something....it's an odd looking thing, and hard to describe. We had them on the tree one year and gave them away before the next Christmas. I'd rather keep replacing bulbs on the regular type lights.

We can still find lots and lots of normal lights at Wal-Mart and Target, by the way.
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:08 AM
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Making the Switch

Originally Posted by Jeff Westover View Post
Jeanette,

You'd be just the person to ask about this: are C7 and other traditional incandescent Christmas lights going away? They seem to be getting harder to find -- and more expensive, too.

There is something about the quality of LED lights that bug me. I'm finding the switch difficult to make.

Jeff
No, C7 and other traditional incandescent lights are not going away - they are still quite popular. I am not sure why many of the big box stores have stopped offering them, but they are definitely still available online. The price should not be increasing due to lack of availability.

A lot of people feel the same as you. However, in my industry, it is impossible for me not to switch to LED lights for outdoor use, because I am too aware of the benefits. I am also clumsy, so I like that LEDs are unbreakable. But I still use incandescent Christmas lights indoors, and don't see that changing any time soon.
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by MerryCarey View Post
I second this. I love the idea that LEDs have a much longer bulb life and use much less electricity, but they don't look right to me ... compared with incandescent mini-lights, the colors look wrong, and the light seems harsh. Can you recommend any LEDs that are closest to the look of minis?
I will always recommend the LED lights at ChristmsLightsEtc, because I know first hand what goes into the purchasing process and the QC. But this is what I have learned:
  • Prelamped strings are typically not as bright as bulbs and strings sold separately. Bulbs purchased separately will usually offer more diodes for a brighter light.
  • Whites need to be purchased carefully. Many value LEDs have the most awful whites available. White is also one of the most expensive LED bulb colors.
I personally love the hue of colored LEDs, so it is difficult for me to comment otherwise. The bulbs are plastic, so the color lasts, instead of fading and cracking away like painted incandescents.
I have seen LEDs in glass bulbs before, but they didn't seem to make the cut. I imagine they may have to eventually, since so many people like the look of traditional lights. I like incandescent lights indoors, but love LED lights outdoors. I imagine if I switch to LED lights on the Christmas tree, my indoors will change as well.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:31 AM
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light

Originally Posted by JeanetteDi View Post
No, C7 and other traditional incandescent lights are not going away - they are still quite popular. I am not sure why many of the big box stores have stopped offering them, but they are definitely still available online. The price should not be increasing due to lack of availability.

A lot of people feel the same as you. However, in my industry, it is impossible for me not to switch to LED lights for outdoor use, because I am too aware of the benefits. I am also clumsy, so I like that LEDs are unbreakable. But I still use incandescent Christmas lights indoors, and don't see that changing any time soon.
Originally Posted by JeanetteDi View Post
I will always recommend the LED lights at ChristmsLightsEtc, because I know first hand what goes into the purchasing process and the QC. But this is what I have learned:
  • Prelamped strings are typically not as bright as bulbs and strings sold separately. Bulbs purchased separately will usually offer more diodes for a brighter light.
  • Whites need to be purchased carefully. Many value LEDs have the most awful whites available. White is also one of the most expensive LED bulb colors.
I personally love the hue of colored LEDs, so it is difficult for me to comment otherwise. The bulbs are plastic, so the color lasts, instead of fading and cracking away like painted incandescents.
I have seen LEDs in glass bulbs before, but they didn't seem to make the cut. I imagine they may have to eventually, since so many people like the look of traditional lights. I like incandescent lights indoors, but love LED lights outdoors. I imagine if I switch to LED lights on the Christmas tree, my indoors will change as well.
Thanks for the good news about incandescent lights, and for your good advice on LEDs. Until the LED color palette more closely resembles incandescent mini-lights, I'll be sticking to mini-lights. (I haven't had many problems with colors fading or cracking on mini-lights.) There's something about the color palette of LEDs that makes some bulbs look brighter than others to me (lumen-wise), so the light strings look uneven to me. Just another sign of age, I guess!
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