10 Key Tips on How to Hang Outdoor String Lights

Outdoor string lights can add so much to the appearance of your home. Most people are familiar with stringing up lights for the holidays. But you can use outdoor lighting to set the mood in your outdoor space all year round.

Regardless of which option you want, there is a right way to hang up lights. Follow these 10 tips to safely hang up your outdoor string lights.

Choose the Right Equipment

As you begin planning your project, be sure that you have all the right equipment. Handling electricity can be a shocking experience but there are ways to limit the danger.

GFCI Plugs

GFCI plugs are an important part of ensuring that your lighting project is safe.

These handy devices will shut off the power if something strange is happening. Like if the current begins running through a person instead of only electrical wire.

If the plugs you plan to use are not GFCI rated, you should call an electrician. They can change out your plugs to ensure proper safety.

Surge Protectors

To protect the lights themselves from damage, use an outdoor surge protector. On occasion, power surges can come through the line. If they are strong enough they can blow out your bulbs.

Extension Cords

Depending on the size of your project you may need a few extension cords. Be sure to get one rated for outdoor use. Plus, try to put the plugs where they will have protection from the rain or snow.

Magnetic Hooks or Plastic Clips

Look for easy ways to hang up your lights. If you have a metal roof, flashing, or siding you may be able to use magnetic hooks.

Be sure to test out your surfaces with a kitchen magnet first. You don’t want to buy a bunch of magnetic hooks and get all set up only to find out they won’t work.

If you can’t use magnets, another easy option is plastic clips. You can use plastic clips either along the edges of your shingles or on the gutters.

Set Up Poles

You may not be looking to hang your outdoor string lights along your house. You may want to create a romantic atmosphere in an outdoor space.

This is easy to do with a few poles to hang the lights from. Start by screwing hooks into the ends of a few 2×2’s. Then attach the 2×2’s to your railing, or stick them in the ground where you want the lights to go.

Test the Lights Before You Hang

This is a simple yet important step. All too often folks go to all the work of hanging up their outdoor string lights. Then when they step back and hit the switch, half the strings don’t light up.

Take a moment and plug in each string that you plan to use to make sure it works first. Also, check for any individual bulbs that may have burned out. It’s a lot easier to change them on the ground rather than after they’re hanging.

Plus, sometimes an entire string of lights won’t work when only one bulb is out. You have to go through and test each bulb one by one to find the offending one. This is a whole lot easier to do on the ground.

Don’t Connect Too Many Strings

Running too many strings of lights off the same outlet can be dangerous. Know the limitations and don’t exceed them.

You can do the math to figure out what you can use. Or read the recommendations on the package if using the same strings of lights.

This is one of the benefits of using strings of LED lights. They use less energy so you can string more of them together without overloading the circuit.

But beware what type of wire you have. You can run LED lights for several hundred feet if they are pre-wired with a 2 or 3-wire harness. But if you’re using AWG socket cord you can only run it 250 feet max. It doesn’t matter what type of bulbs you are using.

Safety First

Keep safety at the forefront as you work. Don’t handle plugs with wet hands or while standing in water.

Always make sure that your ladder is positioned well before you climb up it. Have a helper handy to hand you items as needed. It’s safer (and less work) than climbing up and down the ladder every 2 seconds.

Choose a Focal Point

Now you’re ready to begin! Plan out your display before you begin hanging up those outdoor string lights. Otherwise, your work could end up looking haphazard.

Decide what will be your focal point first and work from there. That’s how to create a really stunning light display.

Check as You Go

Step back every once in a while and survey your work. If part of your display isn’t shaping up how you envisioned it, it will be easier to fix if you catch it early.

A helper also comes in handy for this. You can hold up the lights while you’re still on the ladder. Your helper can then take a step back and determine if it looks right.

Hook Up a Timer

A great way to save on electricity is to hook a timer up to your lights. This way, you don’t have to remember to turn them on and off.

Depending on the timer you can set it to turn on or off at specific times. Or you can use a light sensor so that it will turn on at twilight.

Light It Up

Now for the fun part! Once all your hard work is out of the way you get to turn it all on. If you planned it right, your light display should be stunning. Maybe even the best in the neighborhood!

Find the Perfect Outdoor String Lights

Wondering where to find a great selection of LED lights to string up? Try checking out our vast selection of LED string lights for the holidays.

If you’re looking for ideas for your outdoor space, check out our lighting projects page. There are tons of ideas on there for the perfect way to spruce up for space!

How to Fix Your LED Christmas Lights

After hours of decorating, you finally plug in your LED Christmas lights, and nothing happens.

You start thinking things like “These were supposed to last forever,” and “Are LED lights really worth it?”

They are, and they can be fixed.

Before you give up on them and switch back to incandescent Christmas lights again, take a moment to think about the good side of LED lights.

Here are some LED light reminders and tips on how to fix your broken Christmas lights.

Benefits of LED Christmas Lights

First things first, let’s just get this out of the way, they save energy and save you money. It’s true, they may not save you hundreds of extra dollars, but still, any money saved is helpful and should definitely be considered when buying any kind of LED lights.

But this is especially true during the Christmas season. Because Christmas lights are left on for so long, sometimes even overnight, the electric bill goes way up during the month of December. It’s times like these you will see costs cut with LED lights.

But all money aside, there are many other reasons you should get LED Christmas lights this season.

They’re Harder To Break

Unlike incandescent Christmas lights, LED bulb caps are made from plastic, so they are much more durable. You don’t have to worry about dropping them off the roof and breaking them. Most LED lights will survive the fall and still work.

They Last A Lot Longer

LED lights can last up to 10 years before they stop working, some people even claim they can last 20 years.

If you have any experience with incandescent Christmas lights, you’ll know they only last a year or two before they start going out. It can be a real hassle to buy new Christmas lights every year. With LED Christmas lights, you don’t have to do that anymore.

They Don’t Overheat

LED Christmas lights don’t have filaments that overheat and burnout. That’s one of the reasons they are able to last so long.

But the lack of filaments also makes them safer. Roughly 52 Christmas tree fires happen every year, resulting in over $4 million dollars of property damage.

Because LED lights don’t overheat, they greatly reduce your risk of being caught in a Christmas tree-related fire.

They Come In All Different Shapes And Sizes

You can get different LED Christmas lights for each part of your house. Whether you want small lights, colored lights, lights that change color on their own, controlled lights, you can find an LED light to match your preference.

Do LED Lights Really Last 10 Years Though?

It all depends on how you use them and how much you use them.

If you keep your Christmas lights going all year, they will last a significantly shorter time. If you live in an area that gets really hot during the day or if you store them in a hot attic during the offseason, they also probably won’t last as long as you anticipated.

That said, most LED lights will last a minimum of six years. That a minimum, and that’s still a lot longer than the average incandescent lights.

So How Do I Fix Them If They Break Before That?

If for some reason your LED lights go out before they’re supposed to, you can probably fix them without much trouble.

Keep in mind, the following methods only work on Christmas lights that have removable lightbulbs. If you own LED lights that don’t have removable lightbulbs (yet another reason why LED lights can last so long), they are much harder and much more dangerous to fix.

For all your removable bulb Christmas light owners, let’s take a look at a few of these simple fixes.

Find The Bad Bulb

If one of your LED light strands isn’t working, it’s probably just because it has a bad bulb. If one bulb dies, it can cause the rest of the strand to stop working. The only way to fix the problem is to find the bad bulb.

Sometimes only a section of the lights will go out, making your job pretty easy. However, if the entire string of lights is out, you will need to check every lightbulb.

That means pulling off each bulb, replacing it with a good bulb, and plugging it in. If it turns on, you found the bad bulb. If it doesn’t turn on, you have to take the replacement bulb out, put the original bulb back in, and move down to the next bulb.

It’s a slow process, but it’s pretty easy once you find the right bulb.

To make your life a little less chaotic, test every strand of Christmas lights before you hang them on the roof or wrap them around the tree. It’s a lot easier to fix them on the ground than it is suspended on a ladder.

Look For Any Corrosion

If you replace all the bulbs and the lights still don’t work, you probably have a corroded terminal.

Each light bulb has its own terminal that delivers the charge and makes it light up. Unfortunately, these can give out from time to time.

Finding a bad terminal is the same as finding a bad bulb. You have to take every bulb out, look into the terminal, and see if it has corroded in any way.

You can usually clean the corrosion away with a small file or brush and get the bulb working again.

Adjust Loose Bulbs

Sometimes, the LED Christmas light bulbs just get a little lose, and the strand of lights stops working because the bulb isn’t adjusted right.

All you have to do is push the bulb back into place. It will start working again and turn on the rest of the strand with it.

Choose LED Christmas Lights This December

LED lights are easier to work with and cheaper than incandescent lights, and there’s so much you can do with them. Give your family a bit of extra fun this year with LED Christmas lights.

Trying to decide how you should decorate for Christmas? Check out all these creative LED holiday ideas!

10 Halloween Lighting Ideas to Spook the Neighborhood

In 2016, Americans spent an estimated $8.4 billion on Halloween.

That number includes everything from candy and costumes to decorations and greeting cards and proves just how seriously we take our holidays.

This year’s Halloween is another great opportunity to show your friends just how much you love the holiday spirit. Whether you want to dazzle trick-or-treaters or give your competitive neighbors a run for their money, you want your house’s decorations to stand out.

Incorporating Halloween lighting into your decorations is a guaranteed way to catch everyone’s eye. Maybe you want to create a scary, haunted house look or stick to the classic pumpkins and ghosts.

Either way, read on for ten tips that will get you ready to light up the night on October 31.

1. Create a Ghostly Pathway

There are few things as scary as the idea that you’re being haunted by ghosts who are following with every step you take.

You may not actually be able to get ghostly spirits to visit your Halloween display, but you can make sure your trick-or-treaters feel surrounded by them as they approach for their candy.

Sets of pathway ghost lights are perfect for setting the tone of your Halloween house. Place them in a line on either side of the walkway up to your door, or scatter them throughout your lawn in small clusters.

Kids of all ages will be on their best Halloween behavior when they know that they’re being watched by spirits from the beyond.

2. Choose a Festive Color Scheme for Your Halloween Lighting

Black is the classic Halloween color, but black lights decorating the outside of your house may not stand out well when it’s already a dark night.

Mini string lights in purple and orange will make it easy for trick-or-treaters to spot your house from a distance, and lets everyone in the neighborhood know that you’re full of holiday spirit.

Sold in sets of 100 with end-to-end plugs, these lights make it easy for you to frame your house, line your walkway or even wrap your trees so you can put your love for Halloween on full display.

3. Let the (Fake) Flames Flicker

You know that feeling of sitting around a flickering campfire, listening to a ghost story and trying hard not to be scared, even as you can feel your heart rising in your throat? Wouldn’t you love to create that ambiance with Halloween lighting?

Well, you can. Flickering lights in purple and amber cast that middle-of-the-woods, campfire glow. Choose all of one color or mix and match, and prepare for a night of flickering light and classic scary tales.

4. Welcome Your Visitors with a Spooky Message

A Halloween-themed message is a great way to spread the holiday spirit to your neighbors, friends, and costumed visitors.

As darkness falls on Halloween night, use an LED message board and LED markers to make sure your words get across.

Cycle through multiple colors or set it to be the same throughout the night. A spooky poem or phrase is a fun way to welcome guests, but a simple “Happy Halloween” will always do the trick too.

5. Light Up Mason Jar Luminaries

If you want a more gothic look for your Halloween decorations, black lace mason jar luminaries are the perfect touch.

Start by covering your desired number of mason jars with decoupage, then wrap black lace pieces tightly around them. Leave at least 24 hours for the decoupage to dry.

Just before setting your luminaries out, fill each one with an LED light. Use the luminaries to line your pathway or front steps. The black lace will achieve that gothic feel you’re going for and create patterned shadows on the surface as the light shines through.

6. Set Up a Haunted Graveyard

Decorative headstones and other graveyard accessories are Halloween classics.

If you plan on setting these items up in your yard for Halloween, you want to make sure that they’ll be visible even after the sun goes down and the night gets dark.

Setting up LED string lights around your other decorations will make them glow in the dark and creates a spooky effect that your early evening trick-or-treaters will love just as much as your late nighters.

7. Light Up the Scariest Spider Web on the Block

What’s scarier than a spider web? How about one that’s three feet wide? This LED

This LED spider web with net lighting may be fake, but it comes with a creepy factor that is very real, and perfect for Halloween. Set it up over your garage door or the side of your house.

You’ll get a sense of satisfaction seeing even the oldest in crowd shiver as if they can really feel the spider crawling on them.

8. Give Fog the Faintest Glow with LED Lights

If you’re already planning to go all out by incorporating fog into your Halloween display, don’t stop short of using LED lights to give it a hint of a colorful glow.

Fog billowing from your bushes or pouring out from behind a decorative display can make trick-or-treaters feel as if they’re entering a haunted forest. And when that fog has a tint of green or an orange glow, it’s enough to let imagines run wild as to what might lurking further within.

9. Use Light to Draw Attention to the Dark

Setting up your Halloween lighting so that all the glow is directed to one area is a great way to make the night’s darkness seem even darker.

Lights can be used to create an arch or tunnel, and the darkness below that brightly lit marquee will be all the more noticeable to whoever is dropping by on Halloween night.

Even those who aren’t usually afraid of the dark will be caught up with thoughts of what could be looming in the blackness.

10. Don’t Forget the Jack-o-Lantern

It may not be the scariest decoration out there, but the Jack-o-Lantern is a Halloween classic that no home is complete without. You don’t have to be an expert carver — two eyes and a toothy grin will do — but you do want it to glow.

LED lights are a safer option than candles and they last longer so your pumpkin can be lit from within all night long.

Ready to Start Shopping for Halloween Lighting?

Halloween will be here before you know it, so now is the time to start planning your decorations. Explore our collection of LED lights to make all of your holiday decorating ideas a reality.

For more information or inspiration, please subscribe to our blog!

Light Up Your Valentine’s Eyes with these Sweet Ideas

Valentine’s Day is a day to show the one you love how much they really mean to you. So, let Birddog Lighting help you with some simple lighting ideas to amaze that special someone.

  • Color the Night Right – Use Valentine’s motifs, like Cupid, Double Hearts, or a Love-Struck Heart to radiantly display your affection for your sweet! Or LED rope lights are flexible and durable enough to make your own Valentine motif!
  • Light the Way to that Special Place – Use our LED rope lights to lead your Valentine to a romantic destination! Whether you’re spending the day inside or outside, our LED rope lights will help guide you there.
  • Flowers – Your Valentine may already expect flowers, but they won’t expect your beautiful hand-chosen bouquet lit up right before their eyes! Use our color changing LED vase light to put a new twist on a classic Valentine’s gift.
  • The Perfect Pair – Our universal dimming controller and red or white LED lighting are the perfect pair to help set the mood for a romantic evening with your Valentine.

How to Use LED Strip Lights to Decorate for the Holidays

You needn’t limit yourself to cutting out paper snowflakes or drawing turkeys shaped like your hand when the holidays roll around. If you’re looking for a way to spice up the festivities, you might want to think about adding color and light with LED strip lights. Here are a few fun ideas for using lights to decorate for the holidays.

Valentine’s Day

Setting the mood on this day of love is important, and lighting can play a major role. If providing a romantic atmosphere interests you, then you can string up strip lights in shades of white, pink, or red. For a romantic dinner setting sans actual open flames, run strip lights around the underside of the table.  Alternatively, you can create a centerpiece by jumbling lights in a hurricane vase or placing them under mesh netting to look like fairy lights. These creative displays and the effort your put in will sure to impress your partner.

St. Patrick’s Day

Over time, retailers have commercialized most holidays. St. Patrick’s Day, for example, is all about tying one on. Before you start downing green beers, though, you might want to set up your party pad. The obvious solution is green LED strip lights, and the obvious place to add them is in the bar area. If all you’ve got is a tiny bar cart, application is simple. Place lighting under platforms to make this party station stand out. If you have an actual built-in bar, run lights under the edge of the bar so people know where to go for refills.  Also place lights around the mirror behind the bar and along the edges of shelves to set your fancy bottles aglow.

Independence Day Flag Wall

You can certainly show your holiday spirit on this summer occasion, when barbecues go well into the evening in order to enjoy fireworks displays, by hanging lights in the good old red, white, and blue. Place them all over outdoor spaces – on the eaves, around fence railings, along walkways and across the front of steps – to show your patriotism and light the way for guests after dark. You could also take your efforts a step further by creating your own mural in lights. If you want to create the American flag with LED strip lights, you can either work with a frame and hang it after the fact, or simply attach lights directly to an outdoor wall with reusable clips (or more permanent attachments). You might even set up a massive lit flag on the lawn. The best part is, you can reuse this holiday lighting project on Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day.  You can also leave the patriotic light display up year-round.

Weave a Web

Strip lights are so versatile that you can really have fun creating lighting designs. Instead of stringing orange, green, and purple lights across an overhead space in straight lines, fiesta style, you could plan out a web design for a Halloween party.  Simply use zip ties to keep your lines in place. After completing your design, you can tack it up indoors or hang it across a deck or patio in your backyard.  This depends, of course, on how cold the weather in your area is at that time of year.

Thanksgiving

Any time you’re hosting a massive feast, you’re going to want a spectacular centerpiece. Although the cornucopia is traditional, most people don’t actually create these displays for their table.  Instead they prefer to place the turkey front and center. If you’re all about the overall design, use LED strip lighting on your table.  Place platters ahead of time and wind the lights around them. Then remove the platters, place holiday-themed netting over the top for effect, and replace each platter as you fill it with food.

End-of-Year Holidays

If you decorate for no other holiday, chances are you’re going to make some effort for your winter holiday of choice, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or another festivity (Festivus for the rest of us?). Lighting plays a big role in these end-of-year holidays. You’ve probably already got the tree under control, but you can also place LED strip lights around windows and doors, across the mantle and up stair railings, and around tables festooned with gifts of holiday goodies. You can have even more fun outdoors (so long as you purchase strip lighting that’s rated for outdoor use). LED strip lights are an excellent alternative, for example, to outrageously expensive icicle lights. You can use these strips to create the same effect (or better) along the eaves for a lot less money when you buy long strings of strip lights. They can also easily wind up tree trunks and around branches. You can create a winter wonderland of lights in white or the colors of your particular holiday. There’s just no end to the creative ways you can use LED strip lights to decorate your home and show your spirit for every holiday throughout the calendar year.

Using LED String Lights to Illuminate Pumpkins

Photo credit: 17apart.com

It’s time to fright and delight this Halloween! These LED string light pumpkins are sure to do just that! With the right lighting and a little creativity, you can transform an ordinary carved pumpkin into something extraordinary! Using LED lighting inside your pumpkins is safer than a traditional tea-light candle. LED string lights completely eliminate the worry of something catching fire. LED lights also ensure those poking little fingers don’t get burned! One thing kids love, is to do exactly what you tell them not too. Since LED bulbs don’t get hot, they can poke and prod their lit masterpiece as much as their little hearts desire. Supplies needed: Pumpkin of your choice LED string lights Drill and drill bits Large knife, a pen and push pins (optional)

Photo credit: beautifulfloors.com

Choosing your lighting: The lighting you choose for your pumpkin is ultimately the most important part. It can accent a beautiful pumpkin or cast an eerie glow as a witch flies past the moon. LED string lights come in a variety of colors and styles. My personal favorite is the LED string light raspberries. You could also choose to use regular LED string lights which look awesome too. As for color, it all depends on what you envision for your end result. Red or purple LED string lights look great accenting spooky décor. Preparing your pumpkin: After you have chosen the perfect pumpkin you will need to cut a hole in the bottom of your pumpkin. Make sure the opening is big enough to easily clean your pumpkin. Also, slant the knife when you cut so you can easily replace the bottom. Once you have the hole cut, it’s time to clean out the insides. I like to separate the seeds into a different bowl to bake pumpkin seeds. I use a melon baller to scrape the walls of the pumpkin, but a spoon does the trick as well.

Photo Credit: craftynest.com

Marking and Drilling your pumpkin: Now that your pumpkin is nice and clean, it’s time to get creative! Chose a template or design that you want to display on your pumpkin. If you are going to chose a template provided in a pumpkin carving kit it is advisable to only “drill” the outline. You can still carve the more detailed aspects of your pumpkin if you wish. Once you’ve chosen your design transfer it onto the pumpkin using a pen. After you’ve transferred or drawn a design on your pumpkin, grab your drill! Choose a drill bit that is slightly larger than the LED string lights you have chosen. You can also use more than one size drill bit to create your design. Now, power up that drill and create the desired holes. After your design is complete, cut a small square hole in the back (bottom) side of the pumpkin to run your LED string lights out.

Photo Credit: thisoldhouse.com

Adding the LED String Lights: Insert your LED string lights through the large hole in the bottom of your pumpkin. Push each light through a hole, starting at the top of your design. You can use push pins (like the ones on a corkboard) to pin the wires to the wall of your pumpkin. This is especially helpful in hiding the wires if you have chosen to carve some details of your pumpkin. It also helps spread out any remaining unused bulbs. Please use caution when pinning the wires so you don’t accidentally puncture the wire. After all of your lights are in place, run the power cord through the small square hole in the back. You can now put the bottom piece of your pumpkin back in place. Plug in your LED String Light Pumpkin and Enjoy! We would love to see your finished projects! Please take a moment and post them on our Facebook page! Happy Halloween!

Photo credit: thebestofdiy.com

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4th of July Party Lighting

4th of July Party Lighting The beauty of fireworks, the smell of hot dogs, and ice-cold beverages is what reminds me of 4th of July. If you are the patriotic friend throwing the party this Fourth, you may have some high expectations to fill for those of us who truly look forward to a day of red, white, and blue. Birddog wants to help make sure your Independence Day party is a hit with a few helpful party lighting tips. So break out the cold beverages and get to work on some lighting décor for your party.

Top 3 tips to light up your 4th of July party

1) String Lights on the Fourth

4th of July party string lights If you think string lights are for Christmas you’re sorely mistaken. Either dust off your Christmas lights and find all the red, white, and blue ones or take advantage of the seasonality of string lights and stock up on some. Since most people only buy string lights during the Christmas season you’re more than likely to get some quality LED string lights for a third of the price you paid for them during the holidays. Some other great things about string lights on the Fourth and especially the LED sort, are that they last forever, are easily found in red, white, and blue, and can be used for just about any other occasion as well.

2) Deck lighting brings ambiance to any party

rope lighting deck lights You have probably already discovered the awesomeness of linear rope lighting, but if not be prepared to be awed. Most likely, you have been oogling over your friends’ deck lighting, but haven’t bit the bullet to lighting up your own deck. I know this is more than just a Fourth of July decoration, but you won’t find a better time to show off new deck lighting than at your Fourth of July party. Rope lights can be custom cut to fit your needs, they come in many different colors, and add beauty to your outdoor lighting all year around. They can also be used for more than just deck lighting. Tuck them underneath your stairway banister, add them inside the awning of your pergola, or literally anywhere in the backyard.

3) RGB (color-changing) strip lights are a party’s main attraction

RGB strip lighting outdoors If you really want to go all out this year, it is time to invest in some RGB strip lights or tape lights for your outdoor lighting. RGB stands for red, green, and blue (the primary colors and if you’re wondering why I would suggest suggest any other color combination other than red, white, and blue for the Fourth, I’ll tell you right away; RGB strip lighting allows you to get any color combination you want. Just like linear rope lighting, linear strip lighting can be custom cut to fit any outdoor lighting project, but it is brighter, contains higher quality LEDs, and usually lasts several times longer than rope lights. Adding a color-changing RGB feature to your strip lights will allow you to change the color of your outdoor lighting for any occasion. So if you want to customize your outdoor party lighting for say, the most amazing 4th of July party ever, you can do it at the touch of a button.

Happy Independence Day!

However you decide to decorate for your party on the Fourth, know that outdoor lighting has a way of creating some of the most amazing effects. If these tips have inspired any large or small lighting project and you have question on how to accomplish them, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll get you on your way.

Top 5 Halloween Displays

Top 5 Halloween Displays! Are you ready for the five most amazing Halloween displays you’ve ever seen? Ok, well I’ll let you decide if you think they’re the best, but I sure think they are. With our bias towards LED lights you know, Birddog Lighting had to choose the brightest displays out there. Sit back and waste a few minutes while you enjoy these over the top creations.

5) Ghost Buster Halloween Display

You know there is something strange in the neighborhood when you walk by this house Halloween night.

4) The Nightmare Rock n Pumpkin!

One thing that Christmas displays will never have on a Halloween display is the ability to play hard rock for you light show choice!

3) The Monster Mash Halloween Display

Make sure you watch the end of this Halloween classic; it’s a finale you won’t want to miss.

2) The display with the most show

Pull out the popcorn, number two has a show for you!

1) This is Halloween!

Our number one favorite is a of course has the most LED tech on it, but who can resist a nightmare before Christmas!

Halloween Displays Powered by LEDs

None of these displays would’ve been possible without LED technology. Several features in each of them are done through the use of simple LED products like strip lights, rope lights, string lights, and flood lights. Each of the LED products are connected to Lighting controls, something we spoke about a blog post a couple weeks ago called, What do You Mean by Smart Lighting. As technology in lighting progresses and the cost of LEDs reduces, how do you think Holiday displays will change? Let us know in the comments, it’s always great to hear what you have to say.

Five Steps towards a Green Christmas Tree

Green Christmas Tree If we are asked if we wanted to live a more sustainable life, most of us would say yes. Now, if we’re asked what we are doing to live a more sustainable life we may have to think a little longer than we should. Truth is, we can all be a little “greener” in our daily lives and so I’ve been excited to write this post. My wife and I have tried to make efforts towards a green Christmas Tree. In the post I’m going to over some things we’ve tried as well as some things we’re working towards. These are our steps towards a green Christmas tree and so I’m sharing them only to give ideas, make you think, and possibly give tips; take what need from it and use your own creativity to develop your own steps towards a green Christmas tree.

Our five steps towards a green Christmas tree

1) Make all our Christmas tree decorations

Green Christmas Tree Ornaments This is something I’ve truly enjoyed with my family, especially this year. Emily, my wife, started doing this when our first was too young to help out. She made clay formed decorations, origami stars from recycled papers, among other things, but our kids were not involved in it so it wasn’t nearly as fun. This year my youngest made his own paper wreath ornament we put family photos in as well as a gum drop tree ornament. Both our son and ourselves loved spending time doing this and it required next to no carbon footprint.

2) Use LED lights on our Christmas tree

Green Christmas Tree Lights Of course, being a Birddog, our family has to use LED string lights on the tree. They save us money on our energy bill and because LEDs don’t produce heat like incandescent lights I don’t have to worry about catching a tree on fire if I leave them on. Another bonus, I don’t have to worry about a whole strand/s going out at one time because if one bulb goes out the remainder of the strand stays lit. The bonus to adding LED lights to your Christmas tree is that I don’t have to replace them nearly as often. LED lights last around 50,000 hours compared to 1,200 for incandecents; so when I say I don’t have to replace them nearly as oftenI mean I’ll probably forget I ever spent money on them by the time I have to replace them. As far as a preference for string lights I’m partial to the C6 LED strawberry lights which are shown above ( I just think they look cool). If you didn’t know there are many types of LED string lights to choose from and it really just depends on what you like. Typically mini-string lights are used on trees, so here are few more mini-string light styles to take a look at: Normal M5 LEDs, G12 LED Rasberries, or M5 LED wide angle string lights. If you’re going the artificial tree route, which we have done in the past, there are options to get some nice pre-lit trees that come with LED lights.

3) Buy Real Christmas trees

Buying a Green Christmas Tree At some point we decided to buy real Christmas trees over an artificial Chistmas tree. This may not be a decision for everyone, but here is why I think real trees are more sustainable over artificial ones:

  • -Artificial trees use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which comes from petroleum plastics. This material is non-renewable, a major pollutant in the world, and the production of the material is quite toxic.
  • -Real trees are natural they break down in landfills and give back to soils.
  • -Real trees from a lot, usually come from a farm that plants one to three trees in its stead, which helps appropriate carbon dioxide in our environment and release oxygen for animal life.

4) Stop buying Christmas trees all together

Not so Gree Christmas Tree Shortly after our decision to purchase only real trees we decided we would not purchase Christmas trees altogether. This is definitely not for everyone and it’s a decision that’s been hard for us. Both my wife and I grew up with traditional Christmas trees, but these are the reasons why we decided to break tradition.

  • -Although real trees are not made of environmentally unfriendly materials, the Christmas tree industry has some less than green aspects to it, such as heavy pesticides and chemicals for speed growth and pest control.
  • -There quite expensive to buy from a lot. Expect a $100 or more for a moderate size tree.
  • -If we decide to chop down our own tree, which is allowed in some areas, It costs in gas and permits for us to go chop one down.

5) Raise a living Christmas Tree to decorate outside

Outdoor Green Christmas Tree Since this is the first Christmas we’ve gone without a tree, we decided we don’t quite like not having a tree altogether. Our end solution for a green Christmas tree is to raise a Christmas tree in our yard and decorate it each Christmas. This way we get our real Christmas tree, we don’t have to pay each year for a new one, and we’ll still enjoy the tradition of decorating it. Although we know we’ll have to find a place to place our presents and we’ll loose the chance to sit comfortably around a tree in our home It’s a solution we’re excited to try.

What are your thoughts about our Green Christmas Tree?

I know this isn’t for every family and our family has really just started to experiment with greening our Christmas tree in the last four years. I’d like to hear what your opinion is what questions you have, or any things we might not have thought about; write a comment and let me know.  

Here Come New Ideas for Halloween Decor

imageHalloween is fast approaching and many of you may not know how you are going to decorate your yard this year for all the little ghouls and goblins that will be ascending upon you. Below are few ideas to make your yard unique this Halloween. Line your pathway and porch with LED Rope Light to make finding your doorway easier! Our favorite color for Halloween is Lime Green as it also adds an eerie glow.   Not sure what to carve your pumpkin into this year? Why not try this?! Just drill holes in all sides and use LED Strip Light inside to light it up. Try using different colored lights for a fun effect. Pumpkins Got leftover milk containers? Draw ghostly faces on them and use LED Warm White Rope Light inside to light them up. Place along your sidewalk or in front of your home for a unique display.milk-jug-jack-o-lanterns   Having fun and unique decorations will surely attract all the kids in the neighborhood! Check out our other selection of fun Halloween Decorations.

3 Valentine's Day Lighting Ideas

vase-light-flowers5 As Valentine’s Day approaches and ideas for this special day are running out, you may find yourself in a bind for what to do this Valentine’s Day. Why not try something unique and brighten your loved ones world with LED lights? How you may ask?   Three ways light up their world with LED lights:

  1. Surprise them with flowers, but not in an ordinary vase, use one that lights up! Vase Lightswill illuminate the colors of the beautiful flowers you carefully chose for them.
  2. Electrify your love for them by using LED strip lights. Make the room more romantic with somered strip light. Dim the lights and romance the night. The installation is easy and hassle free.
  3. Amaze them with your creativity and use LED rope lights to create the perfect message. Rope lights are bendable, flexible, and durable.

Now you are able to set the mood for this special day with our Valentine’s Day lighting ideas, or get creative and send us your ideas!   Happy Valentine’s Day!  

Beat the Griswolds This Christmas Season With Giant LED Rope Light Motifs

Want to add some pizzazz to your pad? Consider choosing from a large variety of pre-made LED rope light motifs. Custom crafted by hand these seasonal silhouettes are constructed of flexible LED rope light attached to a sturdy metal frame. Available in a variety of shapes, colors, and designs, LED rope light motifs are the easiest way to add a special theme to this years holiday lighting collection. LED Rope Light Santa MotifoLED Rope Light Snowflake MotifoLED Rope Light Bell Silhouette Most motifs can be wall mounted, post mounted, or stake mounted and are rated for indoor and outdoor use. Larger motifs work well for commercial facades or large residential displays. Choose multiple snowflakes and create your own winter wonderland. The best part is LED lights use just a fraction of the energy to operate compared to incandescent rope lights and they last a lot longer. This means you can enjoy your lighting without having to worry about wasting energy. Got lights?  

Halloween Decorating Ideas

The days are getting darker, the weather is getting colder, and our children’s imaginations are getting wilder by the minute. October is here and Halloween is slowly creeping up on us. Before we realize it we will be witnessing little ghosts and goblins running around our neighborhoods begging us for candy and entertainment.

Spook your neighbors socks off by our creative, budget saving, eerie decorating ideas. These lighting tips can sure help your Halloween lighting project interact with those little monsters in a fun and creative way. If you like lots of spooky light for your Halloween display but are scared to death about wasting energy, then try using LED. Decorating with rope lights, strip lights, and string lights will complement the rest of your decorations for any project, whether indoors or outdoors. Halloween display Rope lights: Any color of rope light can be used to create a giant scary spider web. Rope lights are very flexible so you can bend them in any direction to create your web. They are weatherproof and are able to be cut every 36 inches. Rope lights can also be used to wrap around a mummy, illuminate a graveyard, line a pathway, or accent your porch. Halloween display 2 Strip lights: The witches den is another popular decorating idea. Strip lights would look great in the cabinet of the witches den, in the skeletons casket, or the vampires cave. Strip lights come in a variety of spooky colors, and the length of the LED strip light is customizable and may be cut every 2 to 4 inches. They have an adhesive back that sticks to almost any indoor or outdoor surface which allows them to be very user friendly. String lights: Border your house and windows with purple or orange string lights to add to the overall haunting effect of your Halloween display. Hang string lights from the edge of your roof, around your front door, across the fence, or even wrapped around the stair banister. Best Witches decorating your spooktacular Halloween display and Happy Haunting!  

Winter lighting with LED

Winter is one of the toughest seasons for homeowners and businesses. Mother nature is particularly troublesome during winter, where the constant exposure to the elements can damage vulnerable fittings. It is also during this time of the year that outdoor lighting is very important. If you need bulbs that can survive the harshest of conditions, then look no further than LED bulbs. These bulbs are tougher and more energy efficient than any other variant on the market today. Moreover, some variants of the bulbs, especially rope lights, feature a thick exterior cover that protects the bulbs and the wiring from the elements. Other lighting variants such as LED strip lights and LED string lights are also quite resilient to the elements. Read More

Get ready for Memorial Day with LED lights

Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching, and it's the perfect time to catch up with old friends, hang out with the neighbors and have the whole family over for delicious barbecue. Take your Memorial festivities to the next level with LED rope lights.

Available in a variety of colors, rope lights are an easy way to spruce up any gathering. Try red, white and blue to celebrate the holiday, or yellow and green for springtime coordination. They'll add just the right amount of pizazz to your barbecue, and ensure that guests can still enjoy the hot dogs and drinks past sundown.

String rope lighting around balconies, patios and gardens to add a twinkle that's whimsical yet practical. In addition to looking beautiful, LED lights help illuminate paths, keep kids safe in the dark and let the party rage well into the night.

Plus, since rope lighting is so durable, you can leave it up all year long – or store it in the garage and break it out for special occasions like birthday parties, holidays and family get-togethers. And since it's so energy-efficient, even the biggest lighting projects won't break the bank.

The Round Up of the Best Christmas Lighting Ideas

Yet another wonderful holiday has come and gone and now we review the best LED lighting ideas that won the hearts and minds of people everywhere. Lighting is not something that prevails with brute force; it is clearly an art. LED provides owners with the best tools for perfecting the art of lighting because they are available in so many different types and colors. Moreover, it is the most energy efficient form of lighting known to mankind so it is an art that most of us can afford to indulge in.

The following is some of the best ideas that we came across.

  1. Santa and his reindeers: Yes, this may seem like a worn out theme but with LED lighting, you can inject a much needed level of freshness to this idea. Beautiful portraits of Santa and his reindeer on the roof or driveway scored the most points.
  2. Christmas Wishes: A simple

Icicle lights are a fun decoration year-round

Icicle lights are a Christmastime staple, but did you know that these fun and attractive decorations look great in your yard all year round? With both LED and incandescent versions available, you can select the icicle lighting that matches your needs in the summer, winter and anytime in between.

When the holidays roll around, icicle lights look great hanging from your gutter and shutters with a playful twinkle. For the wintertime, LED icicle lights are the perfect choice – their cool glow looks gorgeous against snow, and since they're durable and reliable, you know they can withstand even the harshest weather.

And since LED lights are energy-efficient, you won't have to worry about your decorations adding big bucks to your electricity bill.

In the warmer months, you can choose the lighting option that's right for you. Icicle lights make a great decoration on balconies and porches, and lend beautiful illumination to parties, showers and other get-togethers.

No matter the season, icicle lights are a great decoration for all kinds of occasions!

It’s never too early to be thinking about LED outdoor Christmas lights

The Christmas season may be months away, but that doesn't mean you should put off thinking about decorations until November. By the time the holiday season rolls around, prices go up and selection goes down – so beat the crowd and start investing in LED Christmas lighting long before the neighbors.

LED outdoor Christmas lights are perfect for decorating your home inside and out. They're durable enough to withstand being strung through bushes and tree limbs in the front yard, but cool and efficient enough to safely light your living room or holiday decorations. Try wrapping some LED Christmas lights around the tree this year for a romantic, twinkly glow that's not a hassle to maintain. Since LEDs need little maintenance, you won't have to worry about getting behind the tree to fix burnt-out bulbs.

You may be ahead of the curve if you pick up your Christmas decorations now, but you won't be for long. As more people recognize the benefits of LEDs when compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, light-emitting diodes are becoming a popular alternative to all kinds of bulbs, during the holidays and throughout the year.

Not only will your LED Christmas lights look great lining the gutter and wrapping the tree, they'll also glow bright at springtime soirees, summer parties and all the time in between.

LED: the best Easter ideas we saw

We hope everyone had a wonderful Easter this year! From amongst the hundreds of submissions we got regarding the use of LED lights and the Easter celebrations, we have managed to highlight a few that really stood out. LED lights are always the best option for the holidays because they come in so many varieties and are both durable and safe to install inside and outside the house. The beauty in all of this is that LED lights come in beautiful colors and different levels of intensity. In addition, a few accessories like a light dimmer or a solar panel can really enhance the lighting experience and allow you to control virtually every aspect of it. Some of the best LED lighting options for holidays included rope lights (an all-time favorite) strip lights, and light bars. You do not necessarily need one type of LED light to be creative.

This Easter the list was long and some of the ideas seemed general but some seemed to be truly innovating. However, we must make note that different people have different perceptions of d

LED lighting ideas for the new semester

While thousands of students head back to college this year, many of them will eventually find themselves pulling late night study secessions to stay one-step ahead of the competition. However, all late night secessions need one thing above all else: proper lighting. Without appropriate lighting people can damage their eyesight and tire themselves out. Fortunately, there are plenty of viable lighting options thanks to the revolutionary LED technology.

Hence, before you return to college its best that you pack up some essential LED gadgets to get started on giving your dorm room a good make over. LED lights consume less energy (good news for all those tree-hugging college students out there) and last much longer than traditional lighting sources (great news for students on a tight budget). The following are some LED lighting ideas for your college dorm room.

LED strip lights: LED strip lights provide brilliant lighting in difficult to reach corners. They can be installed anywhere thanks to the special adhesive. Moreover, they can also be operated through pure battery power, which means you do not have to spend extra on special wiring or extension cords. Use strip lights over your bed, study table, closet or other areas that require quick and clean lighting. LED light bars: get rid of your standard light bars and opt for an LED light bar because it gives out less heat and provides better lighting. This now only keeps your electronics safe (you do not want to take a break only to come back to a melting laptop) but also means your room will not be transformed into a boiling room. LED rope lights: Many often wonder how LED rope lights can be used in college rooms. The best use for LED rope lights is to provide bright overhead lighting. It can also be arranged along the floor. This lets you host study secessions for large groups without having to take turns passing the lamp.