Even for people who don’t celebrate Christmas, seeing homes covered in Christmas lights, blanketed with a thin layer of snow, can be a comforting and beautiful sight. Christmas lights have become an integral part of the season, even in areas where snowfall is extremely unlikely. There are popular online videos featuring lights that are synchronized to music demonstrating that there are people out there who take arranging their Christmas lights very seriously, much like Clark Griswold in ” National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

There are many different kinds of Christmas lights and they range in size, style, power source, and in terms of what kind of bulbs they use. For the discerning buyer, it may be possible to find some kinds of lights in stores, but there are also many different options available on eBay, the online marketplace. Whether buying these lights online or in a store, it is important to examine and learn about the differences between them before making a purchase. Many factors go into purchasing a quality set of Christmas lights, such as size and length, style, power source, and bulbs.

Size and Length

Christmas lights are not uniform in size or in shape. Before buying any Christmas lights, it is important to analyze the dimensions of the area that will be decorated. A Christmas tree usually does not need thousands of feet worth of lights unless it is standing outside of the White House. Likewise, a 50 foot string of lights will not be enough to decorate a house and linking several short strands together is not as efficient as buying a single longer strand or linking longer strands together. For the most part, a tape measurer is a simple, inexpensive tool that can save a lot of headaches when buying lights. It can also be used to measure the distance between an outlet or other power source and the area where the lights are to be placed. This can help when buying an extension cord when it is necessary.

Style

Christmas light technology has advanced since they were first invented, and this has resulted in many different kinds of lights being available. There are many examples within each major style group, but it is helpful to examine the major variations within the world of Christmas lights. Lights are usually designated as outdoor Christmas lights or as indoor Christmas lights and should only be used in the appropriate locations.

String Lights

This is the most traditional and most popular kind of Christmas light. They basically consist of a line of wire with lights spaced at regular intervals. Strings of Christmas lights usually vary in length as well as in color as some come in multiple colors and others come in one single color. There are also variations in bulb size with large bulbs being popular in decades past. String lights are popular for decorating Christmas trees both indoors and outdoors as well as bushes and other pieces of shrubbery. When installing string lights, the process is made much easier with the help of Christmas light clips . These are usually clear plastic clips that can be used to attach light strings to shingles and gutters on a roof and can be removed along with the lights. There are also clips that can help to attach lights to window frames.

Icicle Lights

Icicle lights are similar to string lights in the sense that there is a long wire extending from the outlet with lights coming at regular intervals. The difference is in the way that icicle lights have smaller strings of lights dangling perpendicular to the main string. These smaller strings are varying sizes and are designed to be placed along a roofline in order to simulate the appearance of icicles.

Net Lights

One of the biggest challenges that may arise from decorating trees or shrubbery is finding a way to properly space the lights. Net lights are the solution to that problem as they are built like a net of string lights. Each light or string of lights is spaced evenly, and can be wrapped around a tree or bush easily and quickly thus saving time and energy.

Rope Lights

Image result for Rope LightsRope lights are like string lights in the sense that they have been placed inside of a transparent plastic sheath. Rope lights often provide a more continuous sense of light and are often designed to twinkle or to have the lights appear to follow each other with an illusion of motion. Rope lights are mainly used to outline doors, windows, and roof lines.

Specialty LightsImage result for Specialty Lights

There are many different kinds of specialty Christmas lights to choose from when searching for the right Christmas lights. Those that are designed with unique bulb designs or shapes are often hard to find at a local store. For the most part, specialty lights are meant to be used outdoors and have more heavy duty bulb coverings.

Twinkling Lights

Any kind of light style, from string lights to rope lights, come in twinkling varieties. Some twinkling lights simply flash on and off with a set rhythm, while some are more complicated and have lights that appear to follow each other or change colors. Whatever the pattern of lights flashing, a unique style of Christmas lights such as this is a great way to impress the neighbors.

Power Source

While most Christmas lights are designed to be plugged into an outlet, there are other options in terms of power. There are numerous options out there on the market regarding the different power sources. A buyer can decide which kind of light they want to use before making a purchase, thus further customizing his or her Christmas light setup.

Standard Lights

While most lights are designed to work with the average outlet, they are not all created equally. Some lights are designed to use less electricity and are usually marketed as being energy saving Christmas lights which are environmentally friendly. It is important to pay attention to the type of power consumption options that exist from option to option.

Solar

Solar Christmas lights do not need to be plugged into an outlet and are designed to come on with the arrival of dusk. They get their power from charging during daylight hours and can even get power on overcast or snowy days. It is, however, important to make sure that the solar panel that powers the lights does not get covered with snow as that would block the light.

Bulbs

In recent years, there have been many alternatives to traditional incandescent lights for the regular light bulbs that are used in a home or office. In the case of Christmas lights, there is also an alternative to incandescent lights as well:LED lights. Each kind of light bulb has different features.

Incandescent Christmas Lights

Incandescent Christmas lights have been around for decades and have a few advantages over LED lights. Incandescent lights are much cheaper than LED lights, so for a large decorating project, the cast will be far lower. Incandescent lights are also significantly brighter than LEDs although it should be noted that LED lights can compensate for this by using more bulbs per inch than incandescent lights.

LED Christmas Lights

LED Christmas lights are growing in popularity, mainly due to several major benefits. The first benefit is that they use only 10 percent of the energy that is used by incandescent lights. This means that over the lifetime of the lights, a buyer will actually save money on his or her electric bill. This compensates for the fact that LED lights cost twice as much as incandescent lights. LED lights also produce no heat, as opposed to incandescent lights, which generate a lot of heat. This heat can cause fires if it if not monitored correctly, which makes LED lights safer. Finally, LED lights last longer than incandescent lights and are less likely to break since they are usually not made with glass.

How to Purchase Christmas Lights on eBay

While many stores embark on selling Christmas and other holiday gear well before Christmas, eBay sellers offer them all year long. This is one major advantage when a potential buyer wishes to plan for the holiday season. In order to buy Christmas lights on eBay, the only real requirement needed is an Internet connection and an appropriate form of payment. From there, getting started is simple as the buyer only needs to enter in a search term in the search bar on the eBay home page. This is more useful if a buyer already knows what kind of lights he or she wishes to buy.

Regardless of what the product is that a person may be searching for, especially Christmas lights, having a set plan as well as a useful tool such as eBay is a must. Only eBay gives users the option to search for items specifically or broaden their search.

Conclusion

Seeing people turn on their Christmas lights is one of the more significant signs of the beginning of the Christmas season. They come in so many varieties that it is virtually impossible to see two homes that look the same. When buying Christmas lights, it is important to consider several things, especially where the lights are going to be placed as they come in different sizes and lengths. When this has been accomplished, a buyer can then decide what kind of lights they wish to use, as there are many styles, including string lights, icicle lights, rope lights, and net lights. All of these light styles are available as twinkling lights. When buying lights, regardless of style, it is important to determine what kind of bulbs are a better fit for a buyer as incandescent bulbs are vastly different than LED lights. Once these considerations have been made, buying Christmas lights can be a pleasant and worthwhile experience.