Festival of Lights
Planning to deck the halls? Check out these products designed to save electricity and time.
Battery-powered bulbs offer limitless options for decorating places where there’s no outlet. Think wreaths, centerpieces or ugly sweaters.
LED bulbs are making light strands more versatile than ever with thin wire lights like those illuminating these bottles. LED bulbs also use less electricity, last longer and are safer. Cost $17.99 to buy and run lights for 10 seasons vs. $122.19 for traditional bulbs. *Department of Energy
AppLights are controlled by a smartphone application. The app turns the lights on or off and can change the color and theme for more than 140 total effects for a completely customized spectacle. These lights come in icicle (shown), spotlight and candy cane, to name a few. Cost $60 a strand.
Solar power can cut cost and allow you to light areas not easily accessible to an outlet. Small solar panels store energy in batteries so lights can burn during the night. Available in stake lights, strings, or even decorative jars like this that you can carry with you on an evening stroll.
Photocell light timers are activated by a darkness-sensing cell that triggers lights to turn on at dusk and off at dawn, or after a set amount of time (1-9 hours). Cost $30.
Timers come with a variety of options. Indoor/ outdoor, dial/digital, single-plug or power strip, but the idea behind them is the same: automate your light symphony. Timers save electricity because you decide exactly which hours to burn the bulbs, and they turn on and off whether you fall asleep on the couch or not. Cost $11-$30.
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Keep this in mind when you start to decorate the tree:
- For every 1 foot of tree hight, you need 100 lights.
- One extension cord should connect a maximum of 3 mini light sets or 50 screw-in bulbs.
- Place extension cords next to the wall so no one will trip, but don't run cords under rugs.
- Indoor and outdoor extension cords are different.