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One-Piece Vs Two-Piece Construction Christmas Lights

I'm not sure that there was much debate about this with incandescent Christmas lights (or much of a choice for that matter) because the ability to change the incandescent bulbs was an absolute requirement because the lamps would not last very long. With the introduction of high-quality, long-lasting LED Christmas lights the ability to change the lamps became less of an issue. This is because a high quality LED light should last for about 50,000 hours. Because having the ability to change the bulbs became less of an important feature with LED holiday lights one of the major manufacturers of Christmas style lights using LEDs obtained a patent for an LED string light set with a single-piece construction. As a result, other companies in the holiday decorating and Christmas light industry began producing light sets with a two-piece construction. LED technology is relatively new to the holiday lighting industry and many changes and improvements have been made to the products that are available. This has resulted in a wider range of choices for consumers. This article will examine some of the differences and benefits of both the single-piece and two-piece construction Christmas light.

What is the difference between a 1 piece and 2 piece construction Christmas light?

Whether a holiday light set is 1 or 2 piece construction refers to the bulb component of the string light. One piece construction Christmas lights are manufactured so that the lamp (an LED or an incandescent bulb) are physically molded to the lamp socket during the manufacturing process which results in a lamp or bulb that is not removable or replaceable. A two-piece construction Christmas light set uses a lamp or bulb assembly that is separate from the socket. In most cases, this means that the LED or lamp can be removed from the socket and can be replaced.

What are the advantages of a 1-piece construction LED Christmas light?

The purpose of using a 1 piece bulb and socket assembly in a Christmas light set is to prevent moisture infiltration. Obviously, this isn't a big deal for light sets that will only be used indoors. However, preventing moisture infiltration is important for outdoor Christmas and decorative lighting. A properly construction 1-piece model makes moisture infiltration highly unlikely. This is an attractive feature for outdoor installations as all electrical devices can be compromise by moisture.

What are the disadvantages of 1-piece construction?

The principle disadvantage of a one piece construction light set is that the bulbs cannot be replaced. Although a quality LED Christmas light set should not have bulbs that fail (and any reputable company should replace a set that does) it does happen. If a bulb does fail on a 1 piece construction set the only option is to replace the entire set. This may not be a big deal for people who are using the lights as traditional Christmas tree lights because a set can be replaced without too much trouble. However, if a bulb or a portion of a light set fails in a large installation replacing the light string can be very labor intensive and costly. The other disadvantage is that it seems to result in unnecessary waste. This is because if the set fails it is essentially worthless and the entire assembly becomes waste. A Christmas light set with replaceable bulbs results in less waste because only the bad bulb or bulbs are become waste. Finally, moisture infiltration can be a major problem in one-piece construction sets that are defective. If there is a defect in the light set that allows moisture to enter the socket assembly it is likely that it will not pass through and will stay inside the assembly. Even if the light set also utilizes non-corrosive internal components the constant presence of moisture inside the assembly will cause problems.

What are the advantages of 2-piece construction Christmas lights?

There are two advantages of light sets utilizing a two-piece construction.

  • The bulbs can be replaced if they fail
  • New models of LED Christmas lights, such as our Flex-Change series, allow the user to create customized light sets because the bulbs can be interchange with other compatible sets.

The ability to replace bulbs if there is a failure can be a huge benefit in large installations where the cost of changing an entire set can be high. The interchangeable bulbs also creates a diversity of decorative lighting options for the user that are not available with single piece construction sets.

What are the disadvantages of 2-piece construction LED light sets

The nature of two-piece construction is such that some moisture may enter the space between the lamp and the socket. This is not necessarily a problem if it is a quality two-piece construction light set. Two-piece construction can cause problems in two situations:

  • If the set is not construction in such a way so that any moisture that enters will pass through and not remain inside the socket
  • If the set does not utilize non-corrosive internal components

Moisture infiltration is only a problem if the moisture cannot exit the light socket assembly and if the components are made of materials that are susceptible to corrosion. If you are considering purchasing a two-piece construction LED Christmas light set be sure that the LED and socket assembly are made of non-corrosive materials and that it is a water-resistant design; that is, one that is designed to allow water to pass through the assembly. All of our 2-piece construction light sets utilize a water-proof design and non-corrosive components.