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One of the most massive detriments to a poorly installed Christmas lights display is the misuse of string lights.
As one of the most diverse lights on the market, string lights are used for everything from trees, lamp posts, bushes, custom-built lanterns, and sometimes roof lines.
While their different applications may make them seem like a fool-proof choice for lighting displays, choosing the proper type of string lights will make or break the display.
The most common string lights on the market are C6, G12 and 5mm.
Perhaps the most common light string style, these bulbs are a smaller take on the classic C9 Christmas lights. The cone-shaped C6 lights lend themselves to any use. Commonly used on foliage, these lights will elevate to unique contours of any tree. Whether it be deciduous, evergreen or a small bush, C6 lights are the go-to for outdoor lighting needs.
A similar to C6 lights, G12 lights are commonly used for outdoor trees and other foliage. However, these lights are also popular for outdoor event displays due to their globe-shaped bulb that casts a soft and delicate hue. A despite the difference in the bulb shape, often G12 and C6 lights are used interchangeably.
An incredibly popular option for string lights, 5mm lights are a staple to any beautiful lighting display. Commonly used as the go-to style for trunk wraps, these lights are attention grabbers as they wonderfully outline any tree’s complex and unique aspects. One fantastic way to spice up your display would be to utilize the twinkling option available with 5mm lights.
All of these styles come in a variety of colours of bulb and wire. Whatever choice you make, be assured that we have you covered. There is no limit when you work with Lights Unlimited!
Trying to decide between incandescent and LED light fixtures? Look no further to find the style of lighting best suited for your needs.
A tried and true style of lighting, Incandescent bulbs have been around since the 1850s. Incandescents produce light by heating a wire filament until it glows. The wire is surrounded by a clear glass bulb that acts as a vacuum to protect it from oxygen.
Incandescent lights are commonly used for interior or patio lighting. Due to their aesthetic appearance, incandescents are typically the go-to style of lighting for weddings, coffee shops, and other elegant events. The light produced is a warm, tangerine hue that instantly creates a beautiful atmosphere. Incandescent lights are often the preferred light for wedding and film production because they photograph exceptionally well. Although LED lights continue to gain popularity in that area, incandescent is still the first choice in those fields when sufficient power is available.
They have the worst energy efficiency on the market, converting only about 5% of their energy into light. The heat these bulbs infamously produce is the cause of the remaining energy to be lost.
Incandescent bulbs also have an incredibly short life span. Lasting on average for 1,000 hours, they suffer compared to the 20,000- 30,000 hours that LEDs can survive. Though they can be used for Christmas lights, it is not very common due to these factors.
An LED, or Light-Emitting Diode, is made from a unique material called a semiconductor. A diode is the simplest type of semiconductor component. When a current passes through the semiconductor, light is emitted.
There are two types of LEDs:
Diffused LEDs: The achievement of colour through color-tinted plastic cases.
Clear LEDs: They have a clear plastic case but emit colored light.
LEDs uses are for general and special-purpose lighting, where a particular colour is needed. The industry standard for Christmas lights, LEDs are an incredibly popular choice for the Christmas season. LEDs use much less energy than incandescent bulbs because diodes light is much more efficient than filaments. LEDs are chosen 99% of the time for Christmas lights because they rarely burn out and allow larger displays.
The upfront cost of LEDs is more than incandescent, but that is due to their long lifespan and durability. As LEDs are increasingly becoming the ‘go-to’ style of lighting, the price is ever reducing.
If you want to light your house for the Christmas season or expect to use the lighting day-after-day, it would be in your best interest to invest in LED lights. Their efficiency will save you money in the long run and will last season after season.
For a more elegant look, consider Incandescent bulbs. The colour radiated from the bulb is incomparable and ubiquitous with chic events.
The best way to get that professional, clean look on your home is to use the right materials. The good news is that the most attractive looking lights are also the most durable and, over the long run, most cost-effective.
At Lights Unlimited, we start with socket wire that is both durable and fully customizable to your home’s unique rooflines. We use SPT-2 wire, which is rated for Canada’s winters, and won’t fail on Christmas Eve when your family is over for dinner!
If you have ever installed retail lights on your home, you may have experienced hanging all the lights up, only to have a large section of the lights go out inexplicably. This dreadful event won’t happen with Lights Unlimited! We use the same tried and true two-wire socket wire that won’t let you down and keep the lights burning all through the night. With an LED retrofit bulb, it’s practically maintenance proof even in our climate. Our standard socket wire is the classic dark green, but other colors, such as brown and black, can be available upon request.
The most exciting aspect of Christmas lights is also the most important. Using the right bulbs is also a must – and we have you covered. We have a host of colors available: Warm White, Cool White, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Pink, and Turquoise. Because we use a retrofit system, it means we build our lights by hand, and you can have any custom pattern you want! It even means that you can change the bulb colors in a future year while keeping your existing custom socket wire and clips. It can be a fun way to change your house display for a reasonable cost down the road.
Our standard bulb for houses is the C9 LED. This bulb is the classic conical or “pine cone” Christmas bulb shape. It is much brighter than retail-purchased lights as it has 5 LEDs in each bulb, which gives the light a more vibrant appearance. It also means that the lights don’t have that flicker, which many have observed with other LEDs. C9 LEDs use less than one watt and, as such, are very energy efficient. Recent industry innovation and upgrades to C9 SMDs allow them to look the same while using less than 0.6 watts per bulb! Just one more reason to be proud of your Christmas light display.
The other option for your house is called the G30 bulb. This bulb is for those who want a little extra brightness in their display—shaped like a 1″ sphere that acts as a magnifier for the 5 LEDs inside the bulb. The cost is a little bit more, but these are quite popular due to their clean appearance and classy look. G30 LEDs also come in the same color options as our C9 LEDs.
Using quality bulbs and socket wire, your Christmas lights will be an excellent investment with a look you will be proud of. By taking proper care by taking lights down for storage for Spring and Summer, these lights are the best option for you and your home.
Lisa and Chris Young, East St. Paul
Claudia B., Winnipeg
Vickie H., Whyte Ridge
Debbie S., Charleswood
Paul Jordan, COO
The Forks Renewal Corp.
Denise S., Headingley, MB
Devan Graham, Winnipeg
Bill G., St. James, Winnipeg, MB
Susi Neault, St. Andrews, MB
Tammy and Mike Keane