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Holiday Lighting 101

12/02/2014 09:22AM ● Published by Wendy Turner

(Family Features) While decorating the tree, house, or garland, a whole section of lights can go dark – along with holiday spirits. Light outages can be frustrating and time-consuming to repair during the busy holiday season.

The LightKeeper "Pros" have developed tips to keep holiday lights and spirits bright, and keep everyone safe, too.

  • Measure: To estimate the number of lights needed for your tree, plan on an average of 100 lights per every foot of tree height.
  • LED vs. incandescent:  LED lights are more expensive than incandescent, but last longer. Due to their low voltage, more sets of LEDs can be strung together end-to-end than traditional sets. Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
  • Inspect: Before stringing lights check for broken bulbs and sockets, frayed cords, burnt out lights and loose connections. Replace and repair any damaged light sets. For sets with bulb outages, use the LightKeeper Pro for incandescent lights or the LED Keeper for LEDs to find and fix the problem in seconds.
  • Connect: Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for the safe number of LED strands to connect. Use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord.
  • Indoor vs. outdoor: Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use. Outside lights are exposed to water, so should be rated for outdoor use.  Wrap connections with electrical tape when two or more light strands are being used. Outdoor lights should be plugged into circuits protected by ground-fault-interrupters (GFCIs).
  • Live and artificial trees: To string lights on an evergreen, begin at the top of the tree and wind strands through its center, widening with the tree's shape. For deciduous trees, work your way up. Wrap lights around the base of its trunk, moving upward in a spiral formation. If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the UL label.
  • Replace and repair lights: To get the most out of your light sets, do occasional visual checks for any bulbs that are no longer working. Replace those bulbs as soon as possible. If a light set stops working or a section goes dark, use the LightKeeper Pro (for incandescent lights) or LED Keeper (for LEDs) to find and solve the issue in seconds.

For questions about holiday light repairs, call the holiday lighting pros at Ulta-Lit year-round, and 7 days a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas at 888-858-2548 or visit

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Sponsored by Ulta-Lit

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