When I was a kid, we lived out in the middle of nowhere. My parents used to tell us that having Christmas lights on our house was the only way that Santa would find us. So of course being a little kid and all – Christmas lights were our biggest priority before the big day. If just wouldn’t be Christmas if Santa couldn’t find our home.
The Thanksgiving turkey was barely into the oven before the ever important task of letting Santa know where we were began.
The first job was to untangle the lights and separate the strings all while trying not to bust the fragile glass bulbs. We would lay out each string on the carpet and plug it in to check for any burned out bulbs then replacing when needed. Ever tried untangling dozens of Christmas lights with two small children? It is not as organized as you might think, but Dad always had just enough patience to stay in the spirit of Christmas. Next was hanging the lights, which was a little easier because my dad had installed hooks on the eaves and always had an excuse why we couldn’t climb on the house – strategy I think. He would string the lights onto the hooks as my sister or I held the ladder behind the bushes in front of the house.
Then the lighting; well first the fight for whose year it was to plug in the lights, and then the ceremonial plugging in of the lights… it was magical. One of my best childhood memories…
A few years ago my parents decided to step up their Christmas light game and bought some LED lights at the local home improvement store. The LED lights seemed sturdier, they were made of plastic instead of glass, saved more on energy costs and were noticeably brighter, but they lacked the warm glow that incandescent lights give off. My parents decided that after it was all said and done, the LED lights were definitely worth the upfront cost of new lights, because they cost less to run over time, use less energy and were less prone to breakage. So I’ve laid out this guide to help make your decision to switch to energy saving LED lights this Christmas much easier.
Features: Faceted lens; highly visible.
Works best for: Indoor lights, entryway lights, displays where viewers will be in close proximity.
Features: Mini Faceted lens; brilliant light; nearly indestructible.
Works best for: Christmas tree lights, wrapping outdoor trees or bushes.
Features: Brightest; most focused light; amount of light not affected by angle of viewing.
Works best for: Christmas tree lights, wrapping outdoor trees or bushes, other various indoor/outdoor displays.
Features: Round bulb; faceted lens; small.
Works best for: Wreath lights, wrapping bushes/shrubs, entryway lights.
Features: Can replace incandescent bulbs in a string of lights, but more energy efficient.
Works best for: Roof line lights, large outdoor trees and eaves.
Features: Slightly smaller than C6; same “strawberry” structure; faceted lens.
Works best for: Christmas tree lights.
Features: Replaces incandescent bulbs and is more energy efficient with same light output.
Works best for: Indoor/outdoor lights on buildings and roofs, Christmas tree lights.