This Christmas Tree Rocks!

We’re all familiar with the front yard light displays set to holiday music trend, but why not bring some of that magic indoors? At least one family did, and it brings new meaning to the song “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

Over 7000 lights adorn the ten foot tall tree, and the light show is controlled using Vixen Christmas light controller software running 24 channels. It’s party time!

Read the full article here: A Beautiful Christmas Tree With Some Tricks Up Its Sleeve

7 Joyous Holiday Displays

The month of December brings seasonal joy in the form of family gatherings, delicious food, celebration, and decorations. When you’re surrounded by twinkling lights and colorful displays, you forget current troubles and become a kid again.

Sometimes, however, people get a little too enthusiastic and pile as many lights and statues and blow-up snowmen into their yard as possible, and it just looks tacky and thrown together.

On the other hand, when done well, intense holiday displays capture the whimsy and awe of the season and spread it to all who look upon them. It could easily be considered an art form.

These 7 homes fall in different places on the sliding scale, but most of them are done well. Still, I’ll always be an advocate of less is often more. Happy holidays!

Read the full article here: 7 Homes Amazingly Decked Out for Christmas

16 Houses, One Light Show

I love a good holiday light show. There’s something about all of those twinkling lights that makes the season feel really special, and the new trend of organizing different light strings with effects set to music takes things to a new level. That level has increased this year with this video of 16 houses strung together as one musical show.

The light show is set to Trans Siberian Orchestra’s “Wizards in Winter.” The areal video was captured by a drone, and the show is located in Yucaipa, CA. Each house pitched in with their own decorations and volunteered to be a part of the experience.

It’s a beautiful view of a neighborhood coming together for the holidays.


Old Christmas Lights – Time to Toss?

Nothing says Christmas is here quite like beautiful, elegant, playful, twinkling lights. I have fond memories hanging ancient large-bulb colored glass holiday lights on our tree or around entryways year after year. If one burnt out we just replaced it with another.

Looking back, I wonder if those lights were really safe. We didn’t inspect each bulb or look over the cord for kinks or exposed wires – if they worked when they were plugged in, they went up.

Apparently incandescent lights should be replaced every 4 to 6 years, and LEDs every 7 to 10. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with keeping them if they still work, but look them over. If there are loose bulbs or if something doesn’t seem quite right with them, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

You should check outdoor light strings even more thoroughly since they’ve been exposed to the elements, making them more prone to wear.

Read the full article here: How Often Should You Replace Your Christmas Lights?

Christmas Mini-Lights: How buy the most reliable light strands

The #1 question we receive is “If one bulb burns out, do the remaining bulbs stay lit?” The short answer to this question is yes, the bulbs do stay lit when one bulb burns out.

The problem is this is the WRONG question. The better question is: “If one bulb is removed, shorts out or breaks, do the remaining bulbs stay lit?”

I predict that 90% of the light strands sold in the USA will stay lit when a bulb burns out. In my experience, when light strands have issues; the strand has one bulb that is either shorted or is damaged in some way. Most light strands will fail when the bulb shorts or is damaged.

The ability for the light strand to stay lit when bulbs are removed, shorted or broken is a function of the light strand not the light bulb. There are two methods to accomplish this feat. The preferred method utilizes technology in each socket that regulates power to each socket. This method is the most expensive but to me it is the most reliable.

A less expensive technique that is popular in big box retailers uses a single “fuse bulb” which is always the first bulb in the stand. This fuse bulb cannot be removed from the strand; it is permanently installed. If this bulb is broken or shorts out, the entire strand goes out and cannot be repaired. Previously, it was easy to spot these fuse bulbs as the bulbs were about 50% larger than normal bulbs but now the fuse bulbs are about the same size as a normal bulb.

How do you know what type of light strand you are buying?

Ask the sales person “If one bulb is removed from the strand, will the remaining bulbs stay lit?”.

If the answer is yes, then ask “How is that done? Does the strand use a chip in each socket or does it use a fuse bulb?” If the person looks at your with a blank stare or there is an uncomfortable pause on the other end of the phone, it is highly likely a fuse bulb.

In conclusion, when considering light strands; ask the seller what happens if a light bulb is removed from the strand.

Click Choosing the Correct Lights for Your Christmas Tree to watch a 4 minute video demonstration of the differences among mini-light strands.