Holiday Lighting Advice – What Kind and How Many You Need

A141Decorating your home – inside and out – with holiday lighting seems to be a growing trend.  No matter where you look the bling and sparkle of lights adorn roof lines, outlines doors and windows and showcase lawn ornaments, trees and shrubbery on houses as you drive down a street.  Whether you’re going in for lighting on a mega scale or a more modest scale here’s advice from the pros about what type of lights to buy and how many you need.

The American Lighting Association suggests ideas about decorating with LEDs instead of traditional incandescent lights. Compared to strings of incandescent bulbs, LEDs offer:

*Longer bulb life. (3-year warranties; average life up to 100,000 hours)
*Energy savings. (16-17 watts of savings for a 25-foot light string) – a reduction of more than 75 percent
*Bright colors. LEDs generate only the desired color; incandescent bulbs use color filters which waste light
*Cool operation. LEDs have no hot filament inside; bubs remain cool

Visit ALA online for more lighting information at

Here are suggestions from Ulta-lit Technologies, a manufacturer of holiday light sets. To estimate the number of lights needed for a tree plan on an average of 100 lights per every foot of tree height.Before stringing lights check for broken bulbs and socket, frayed cords, burned out lights and loose connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read the maufacturer’s instructions for the safe number of LED strands to connect. Use no more than three light sets on an one extension cord.To string lights on an evergreen, begin at the top of the tree and wind strands through its center, widening with the tree’s shape. For deciduous trees, work your way up around the base of its trunk, moving upward in a spiral formation. Visit their website at for information about diagnosing and repairing holiday light sets.

Keep Outdoor Lighting Enclosed and Safe
Twist and Seal keeps power cord connections protected from the outside elements like rain or melting snow so it’s a safeguard from outages and electrical shock. The housing prevents holiday lights and displays from shorting out or blowing fuses. They’re available in three sizes:original, mini and cord dome. They’re available at home centers, local retailers and online at

Visit us at to compare the cost of hundreds of home improvement projects whether you do it yourself or hire a contractor.


Gene and Katie Hamilton are authors of 20 home improvement books and creators of, a website that compares the DIY and contractor costs of hundreds of repair, decorating and remodeling projects. Their weekly column Do It Yourself or Not is syndicated by Tribune Content Agency.

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