Monday, December 5, 2011

Design Tips: LED Holiday Lights are here to stay

This year I made the switch. After years of digging broken glass bulbs out of the garden, finicky wiring, temperamental timers and miles of extension cords, I replaced my old incandescent C-9 Christmas lights with brand new LED ones.

C9 is the largest easily available size, traditionally shaped, perfect for outdoors on your house. C7, C5 and C3 are smaller sizes. There are also minis, round G sizes, icicle styles, chasing styles and hundreds of ornament shapes. You can easily go nuts thinking about the possibilities.

And I'm so happy I made the switch! We live near a famous holiday street in Portland. So we try to support the arts and light up our house too, though we are not tempted to outdo
Peacock Lane (shown above). But it's fun to come home to a lit house during the holidays.

Though the new LED lights, which I purchased at Home Depot this year, are individually not quite as bright as traditional incandescents, the faceted "strawberry" plastic bulbs create a pretty sparkly effect. And the bulbs are much closer together, just 6-9 inches, so I have many more lights on my house. The effect is different than the old-fashioned kind, but I think just as pretty, if not prettier.

The best benefit is that the LEDs use much less electricity. Instead of linking just three incandescent strings, cobbled together on separate extension cords, I was able to link all the lights on my house on only one extension cord, to one timer plugged into one outlet. All my lights, cords and timers are rated for outdoor use. Make sure yours are too.

So now all the lights go on and turn off at the same time! Before, I could never get the timers set up alike, so half the house would turn on, then, later, the other half would. And I don't have sloppy cords going out from under my garage door any more.

If you're thinking of replacing your old incandescent strings with new LED strings, keep in mind that the LED packaging usually label the number of bulbs, not the length of the string. I ended up needing a lot more than I thought I would. I found some handy 100-light strings on a plastic spool, which will reduce tangled messes later.

Until next time!
-Elaine Bothe

Photo of Peacock Lane is by Rob Finch, and is courtesy of, the online arm of The Oregonian newspaper. See the article "LED Lights Surge in Popularity, Styles, Performance" by Kym Pokorny for additional information.

Also see the article "Everyone loves Peacock Lane during the holiday. But what about living there?" by Tom Hallman Jr., also on

Photos of bulbs are courtesy of Home Depot.

For more information about Peacock Lane, visit their website!

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 9:56 AM 


Anonymous C9 LED Christmas lights said...

The best benefit of using LED lights is that it uses much lesser electricity.Besides, the effect is also some thing different and awesome.

May 24, 2013 at 4:29 AM  

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