How To: Buy the LED lights and supplies you need for Christmas
There are now so many choices in LED holiday lighting products that sometimes it’s hard to know what to pick, or how many lights you’ll need. Here are some tips from Christmas light installation expert Lee DeJonge, with Shine Holiday Lighting, on how to order just the right amount of material.
In general, keep the same bulb type and spacing and color consistent within a single tree or area you’re trying to accent. In general, longer strings are handy for rooflines and straight edges while shorter strands are better for wrapping around trees or branches because you don’t have a big bunch of extra lights to thread through tight spaces. For rooflines, he recommends C9 bulbs with shingle tabs, gutter clips or other accessories to hold the lights securely. Mini-lights work great for trees, garlands and bushes. Also, locate your electrical sources and visualize how you’re going to power the display. Then buy the proper number and length of extension cords. Be sure you have enough cord that you can go around walkways and driveways, where power cords can pose tripping hazards or get damaged if they’re run over.
To figure out how many lights you’ll need for a roof or porch, simply measure the lines you want to light and add a little extra. For instance, if you’re roofline measures 150 feet, buy 160 feet of lights.
Determine what kind of fastener you’re going to use to attach the wreath to the house. To light a 3-foot wreath, figure on buying three 25-foot sets of LED lights with 50 lights each. To light a 4-foot wreath, plan on using four sets.
To determine the length of light strings or garland you’ll need to adorn columns, railings or other architectural features, cut a long length of rope and mark it off with a Sharpie pen in five-foot increments. Then, simply wrap the rope around the column as if it were a light set and use it like a ruler to determine how many feet of lights you’ll need. A good ballpark figure when you’re wrapping is a 25-foot strand of lights (or pre-lit garland greenery) for every 7 feet of the area you’re trying to light.
Trees are tricky – how many lights you’ll need depends on how elaborately you’re wrapping the tree, how many branches you’re doing, or whether you’re going with a scatter light approach. For a 20-foot birch or pine tree, you’re likely to need 20 mini-light sets (25 feet long) to do an intricate and professional wrapping job. For a less intricate design, seven to ten light sets may suffice.
For more information about Christmas light installation services please visit Shine Holiday Lighting.