Are you a snow person or a sun person? Personally, I love them both equally! Hello again friends, it’s me, Sparkle! Yes, I’m back for a brief summertime vacation! The Big Guy gave me a few days off to do whatever I wanted. And of course, I decided to come enjoy the warmth and sunny skies in beautiful Northern Florida. While I’m here, my good friends at Twinkle Nights asked me to teach you all about the different types of Christmas lights and how to use them in preparation for your holiday displays. So, let’s dive right in!
First things first, we need to talk about the different types of bulbs. Have you ever noticed that some bulbs say on their package “for indoor use only?”
See, that’s the first thing you need to know about the different types of Christmas lights and how to use them. You should only use lights in the locations they are designed for. While outdoor-rated lighting can be used indoors, the opposite cannot be said. Indoor-rated lighting is not designed to withstand outdoor elements. If you tried to do so, it could lead to a fire hazard as well as other safety issues.
Now, there are many bulb sizes to choose from including C9, C7, C6, G12, and mini bulbs. So where does a homeowner begin? Let’s start with the basics.
If you’re looking for that traditional “Christmas light” look, then C9 bulbs are the way to go. You’ll want to use them on your roof lines and landscaping. These large, teardrop-shaped bulbs are the brightest, most powerful lighting option, giving your display the biggest impact.
Continuing on, C7 bulbs are a similar teardrop shape but slightly smaller and are ideal for wrapping around trees. And while C6 bulbs are teardrop-shaped as well, they are only slightly larger than a mini bulb. That makes them perfect for lighting small areas of your yard, though you should keep in mind they’ll be dimmer than the larger bulbs.
Moving on to even smaller options, G12 bulbs are round and offer a different lighting style than their teardrop counterparts. These round bulbs give off a soft, halo-like glow. Lastly, mini (or, T5) bulbs are the tiniest of the bunch. These little bulbs are ideal for bushes, wreaths, and columns.
As for one final sizing tip, that’s easy: mix and match for the best design impact.
Moving on, the next thing to know about the different types of Christmas lights and how to use them is the color. Once you’ve settled on your bulb sizes, that’s possibly the most important thing to think about.
What options are there? Retailers sell clear, white, multicolor, green, blue, and many more — the options are truly endless here. Beyond that, you can even choose a color theme to follow, whether you go with one, two, or multiple shades. Red and white will turn your home and landscape into a peppermint paradise (my personal favorite!) Blue and white invoke an ice castle that would make Elsa jealous, and trust me, you don’t want that to happen — just ask Arendelle!
And of course, you can’t go wrong with the traditional colors of Christmas: green and red.
Now, what about the type of lighting? The LED vs incandescent debate is still ongoing. This really comes down to personal preference. Undoubtedly, choosing LED lights for your holiday lighting display is the most economical as these are less power-hungry. However, the soft, warm glow of traditional incandescent lighting is still preferred by many homeowners.
Just a real quick note on moving lights, because let’s face it — I can’t sit still! The different types of Christmas lights and how to use them include an interesting mix of twinkling, blinking, rotating, and mesmerizing patterns. It’s best to start with a theme, and then decide if adding motion will take your displays up a notch or two.
Power source options
Another consideration when deciding what lights to choose is your preferred power source. Everyone is familiar with plug-in lights. These are the most common and easiest to use — not to mention, the best option for an outdoor display.
Another option is solar-powered lighting. These will require daily sunlight for operation but are more energy efficient than plug-in lights and remove the need to run multiple extension cords on your property. Lastly, battery-powered options are available as well. These are ideal for small displays or areas without access to an outlet.
Where to use them
This is the fun part! What are the different types of Christmas lights and how can you use them? Well, for a vibrant home display, line your roof edges and windows, wrap any columns, and drape strands along the porch rail. Then, use other strands or net lights to decorate trees, bushes, and other areas of your landscape. Strands of bigger bulbs like C7 and C9 are ideal for your home decor as their size will ensure Santa can easily see them from the sky. Meanwhile, smaller bulbs like G12 and C6 are great for accenting the main display.
Hanging ornaments and other types
But the fun doesn’t stop there. In addition to strands of lights, there are options such as rope lights, net lights, icicles, snowflakes, lighted hanging ornaments, projectors, and more. Santa might need a pair of binoculars to see some of these more intricate details, but do you know who will easily be able to see them? Your neighbors, those walking up and down the streets of your neighborhood, or customers visiting your business of course!
Adding additional elements
The last things to keep in mind are the details. Will you use a timer to turn your display on and off? What about spotlights to highlight various areas in your yard? These two questions might seem to be an afterthought but can be the make or break with the success of your display.
Mix and match your lighting choices for the most eye-catching display
Christmas lights are one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. And I know Santa loves seeing all of the creative displays while he’s out delivering presents.
Are you unsure of where you should begin? No sweat — my friends at Twinkle Nights are just what you need to turn an average lighting display into one that is the talk of the town! I know it seems like Christmas is a long way off still but trust me, time flies when you’re having fun! Contact them today at (844) 820-4613 or HERE to get on their schedule and get ahead of the game.
Now, I’ve gotta get back to the North Pole. I’ll see you all again soon!
Here are some other resources to help light up your holiday season!