I remember as a child decorating for Christmas the week or so before the big day, but it seems like every year Christmas comes a bit earlier with folks forgetting about Thanksgiving. Although Thanksgiving is definitely my favorite holiday, and I vehemently refuse to let Christmas interfere with it, I have decided to make my life a bit easier with the long weekend ahead of me and prepare to decorate my home like a modern day Griswold (but not until Friday at the earliest). So I’m feeling like an early bird (they’ve probably had their lights on since Halloween) and thought I’d share some best practices with our customers to make their lives easier. A lot of this goes without saying so pardon the redundancy. I’d also like to give a shout out to Mrs. Leslie for giving me the example of Christmas lighting perfection.
- Test your lights. I enjoy picking a good cold day for this so I can sit inside and watch TV while I’m testing out the lights to determine my light selection for the year. A lot of places like Lowe’s and Home Depot offer trade-in programs for newer efficient lights. I wasn’t crazy about the brighter “bluer” look that came with the LEDs but they do have some now that appear to be more incandescent and “yellow”.
- Measure your lights. The new ones obviously tell you how long they are but generally that is not the length of the lit section and includes the length for power. Also measure the lengths of roofing and gutter that you are planning to decorate. Take a look at how you plan to affix the light strand to the surface and determine if you need the handy clips to make your life easier. I bought a pack of 500 last year for around $10 and couldn’t have been happier with them.
- What type of light works best where? The bigger C9s, C7s and of course the infamous icicle lights are more designed for roofing fixtures where the light will be further from sight.
- Calculate the total wattage of your lighting project to prevent overloading your circuit. Multiply the wattage of the bulb by the number of sockets on the strand to get a total wattage, then you can divide by 120 to get the total amps. Tip: Most house circuits are 15 or 20 amps. 15 amp circuits support 1800 watts, and 20 amp circuits support 2400 watts. circuits should never exceed 80% of their capacity.
I would love to see some of your completed masterpieces and hear some of your best practices that I might have forgotten. Leave us a comment or email us! Happy Thanksgiving!