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Christmas Lights

Nothing is more festive at Christmas than the lights people use to decorate their homes. Lights can be used inside on real or artificial trees, garlands, and wreaths. Outside, they can be strung on trees, shrubs, windows, gutters and eves. While traditionalists like the old fashioned C7 and C9 colored bulbs, there is now a much larger variety of sizes and shapes of Christmas lights to choose from. Most styles come in both clear and colored models. Although some lights are still made for indoor use only, most new holiday light sets can be safely used both inside and out. Check before you buy.

If you are thinking of using Christmas lights, consider the following:

  • Strings of lights come in lengths from 25 to 200 lights. Look for strings that can be plugged into each other. If you use shorter strings, it will be easier to replace one if a light burns out.
  • Icicle lights have become very popular. These strings of clear lights in a ragged pattern can be installed on eves, gutters, railings or fences, creating the illusion of hanging icicles. They can also be used for great indoor effects, especially on staircase banisters or at the top of large mirrors.
  • Specialty lights such as net lights, tree wraps, and swag sets can quickly and easily cover bushes, trees, and house railings. These are especially useful in areas where it is likely to be cold when the lights are put up and taken down.
  • If you are concerned about the amount of energy your lights will use, consider buying LED lights, which last longer and are more energy efficient. These lights come in a variety of styles, including traditional C7s and C9s, minis, icicles, strawberry and globe shaped, star bursts, and tiny rice lights that twinkle like fireflies.
  • Some light strings include a "twinkle" feature that causes all of the bulbs to flash in unison. Often times, this is accomplished through a single twinkle bulb that can be easily replaced to make the string stay lit.

All Christmas lights will be more convenient if they are installed with a timer or light sensor to turn them on and off automatically.

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