Tips to get the most shine from holiday lights
Don't let your holiday lights get you down this year! There are ways to revive the ever-growing pile of burned out strings of lights and skip the frustration as you decorate.Posted — Updated
Don’t let your holiday lights get you down this year! There are ways to revive the ever-growing pile of burned out strings of lights and skip the frustration as you decorate.
"Two burned out bulbs on a 50-light set can increase the demise of that set by 39%," said holiday light expert John DeCosmo. "All you’re doing is putting more strain on the remaining bulbs."
"We send a little pulse of electricity into that incandescent and get the set working again," DeCosmo says. "It’s a bonafide fix."
Whether incandescent or LED, DeCosmo says his experience proves that with holiday lights, you get what you pay for.
"If 10 light sets are bought and nine give you no trouble, and you bought those for $70, I got to say, I think you did good," he said. "If you want less failure, you’ll want to buy better light sets."
DeCosmo says you’ll know the better lights when you see them.
"There’s just more material in there," he said.
5 On Your Side asked how long a light string should typically last.
"Figure incandescent is good for around 2,000 hours per light set," DeCosmo said. That means if you keep your lights on around the clock from Thanksgiving through Christmas, you can expect them to last for two seasons.
Another common question is how many light sets can be strung together.
DeCosmo says it depends. Incandescent lights are more limited because they require more wattage. Some LEDs claim you can connect 90 strands.
Check the box to keep it safe, and check your lights closely, too. If you see any damaged lights or frayed wires: toss them.
When it comes to storing lights for next season, DeCosmo recommends using sturdy cardboard, cutting slits on each side to insert the plug, then wrapping the strand around for a neat and tidy solution that will mean no frustration next year.
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