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How to Decorate with Christmas Lights

Updated on December 1, 2013

Christmas is getting nearer and nearer, and this year, people will include LED lights in their outdoor decorations.

This is largely due to the fact that these lighting fixtures are energy saving, friendly to the environment, stylish and their prices are comparable to quality alternatives.

While it is sensible to consider replacing your regular energy-hogging Christmas lighting with LED lights, below are some of the most important factors to consider before making your decision.

How you Want Your LED Christmas Lights to Fit Into Your Holiday Decor

If you are planning on using LED Christmas lights together with other lighting fixtures, you need to think carefully about how to utilize them. Solar lights have numerous benefits, but they are not always great for everyone.

To be honest, solar lights are not for you if you want to have the biggest and brightest display in the neighborhood. For one, the cost of procuring solar lights that can produce the type of light you want is too much, and you may not be able to recoup the initial investment even after several years.

It is also important that you consider the weather conditions in your area as well as the amount of twinkling, flashing and other special effects you hope to create. While solar lighting technology continues to evolve, it will be quite some time before they can compete with more elaborate displays.

However, solar lights are perfect if all you want is to light up some corners and areas on your property that extension cords just cant reach. Examples of the more popular varieties of solar lights include lanterns, orbs and string lights that resemble tree ornaments, colorful accent lights, tasteful crosses, specialty Christmas displays and new tube lights that are low cost and offer a wide range of colors.

The following are some things that you may want to keep in mind when selecting decorative solar lights.

You Only Get What You Pay For

Do not buy holiday lights that are offered at discounted prices at the beginning of the season. Chances are high that they have dead batteries, use old technology and are most likely leftovers from previous seasons.


Place LED ascent lights on the ground and new tube lights on trees, shrubs, fences or architectural features in your compound.

You can make a light-activated solar lighting fixture to light up even when there is a lot of light around by covering the sensor. This light-detector is normally built into the photovoltaic cell (solar panel).

Most people normally cover the light sensor when the sun sets so that the lights can turn on even with the security light on. Please note that the cover must be removed at dawn for the solar panel to recharge the battery during the day.

Be sure to place the panel in open ground or on the rooftop where it can be exposed to sunlight throughout the day. Remember, LED Christmas lights are not for you if you are worried about your panel being seen by guests and passers-by.

For you to get 6 to 8 hours of illumination, your solar panels must receive enough sunlight for at least 5 hours.


The solar panel should be positioned such that it faces the sun when sunlight is strongest during the day. Just check the position of the sun at midday and configure your solar panel to face it.

While some solar lighting systems can work with 2 to 4 hours of sunlight, you need to be careful. Always read product descriptions carefully before placing an order. If you do not understand the technical terms, you can always ask the store clerk to tell you about the capabilities of the product. If your concerns are not addressed satisfactorily, you can always go to another store.

There are times when the sun will not cooperate, regardless of how well you place the lights. Always keep that in mind before you place an order for decorative lights.

You need to look for the best solar lights that your budget can accommodate. Most highly priced lights have quality batteries, use better technology and are worth every dime spent.

While solar floodlights, spots, and lamps have stronger batteries, most decorative lights fall short in that area.

Fortunately, there are still some tricks that can work. Consider a case where a cloudy Friday and Saturday are expected. You can just turn off the lights at sunset on Thursday to save the power and turn the lights back on at sunset on Saturday. Unfortunately, this strategy will not work if you purchase cheap string lights that store power poorly.

There are some solar lighting fixtures that have lights that can be detached from the solar panel. This makes it possible for you to keep the panel inside without disturbing the lighting setup.

When preparing for the Christmas holiday and there is no sunlight, you can always put the solar panel under a bright LED lamp inside the house to charge the battery.

Please note that solar panels can produce electrical energy from any type of light, regardless of the source, but LEDs and CFLs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs and halogens.

While this may defeat the purpose of having solar lights in the first place, you will only do it a couple of times during the Christmas holiday season.


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