Share this story...
Latest News

Homeowners have a lot of choices when it comes to holiday lights

(StockSnap Photo)

People can be very particular when it comes to Christmas light displays on their homes.

One of the big issues facing homeowners today is choosing among light strings that have warm white incandescent lights, bright white LEDs, warm white LEDs, spotlights and even laser lights being projected on the house.

Christmas displays with LED (light-emitting diode) lights started coming out in the late 1990s. Everyone liked the bulbs because they use less energy, which means you can power up more lights on a single plug. LEDs are also less likely to break and save energy.

A string of LEDs, however, can cost twice as much as a string of incandescent lights.

But some homeowners found that those original, pure-white LEDs produced light that was too harsh and bluish — unlike the yellow, comforting glow of incandescent lights.

The bright white seemed all right for contemporary-looking decorations or maybe to achieve an icy look but if someone wanted that warm, cozy look, they didn’t want LEDs.

The marketplace responded by producing a new array of LEDs with varying kinds of lights. Now, there are warm yellowish white, bright white, pure white with lots of blue, and cool white with a little blue.

It can get confusing, particularly because there are more than several manufacturers of LEDs. And a cool white from one manufacturer can be called a pure white or something else by another manufacturer.

What if you need to replace just one string of lights? How can you be sure the new string will match the old strings? A lot of trial and error and many trips to a store might be required. You can avoid problems by always buying your lights from the same trusted vendor.

Other possibilities in lights choices include:

  • No plugs needed: Because LEDs use less energy, they can often be battery-powered for use on wreaths, garlands, topiaries and even light strings. You will need to consider the color and whether they blend in with the rest of your lights.
  • A rainbow of colors: LEDs are also available in pink, red, yellow, purple, blue and a host of other colors.
  • Bulbs are changing: For years, the mini-light ruled. Now old-fashioned styles are back again with new variations. Their “glass” can be clear, frosted or patterned.
  • Nets of lights: Buy nets of mini lights to cover trunks of trees or to carpet a swath of your yard.
  • Ropes of lights: Ropes of tiny LEDs or incandescents covered in plastic can wrap railings or pillars or be used on roof lines or to outline a garden path.

No matter which type of light you choose, be sure to follow the manufacturer instructions closely when plugging one set to another and then to another. The instructions usually include the number of strands that can be safely daisy-chained together.

If you don’t follow these instructions, there can be an electrical hazard and you might risk overloading the circuit, causing electrical issues elsewhere in your home.

If you are at all concerned with putting up your own decorations, you might consider hiring someone else to help with your lights.

For more DIY tips and information for all the projects around your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information at

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you know you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at –- Arizona’s most trusted referral network.

Tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!

Rosie on the House

Related Links