I recently took 100 multi color light bulbs to the completely fun Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth. From the photo, you can see that they needed a few replacements <smile>.
Strings of C9 lights in multi colors hang along the interior gates that give this restaurant/bar a real stock yards feel. Bypassing a more sophisticated neutral palette, the design team at this hang-out has pulled out all the stops and gone with blue, green, orange, pink and red.
The different colors add to the party feel.
Christmas lights are a quick and inexpensive way to highlight a restaurant’s architecture and add indirect light that’s great for conversation but doesn’t highlight the bags under your date’s eyes. <Always a good thing in my estimation.>
A lighting plan configured with bulbs and cords lets you adjust the color of the lights based on season. I see green lights for St Patricks day next year and maybe a little red, white and blue for the summer.
Find out more about the Rodeo Goat and their incredible gourmet burgers at my personal blog.
Shellie GardnerPurveyor of Christmas Lights
Today, my husband, David took over 1900 pounds of Christmas lights to a metal recycling company in Irving, TX.
We received these lights in the last 6 weeks from folks all over the country.
All of the proceeds from this haul will be saved up and used to purchase toys and books for the Toys for Tots program in November.
If you have lights that you’d like to have recycled, get more information at Christmas Light Source Christmas Lights Recycling Program.
Shellie GardnerFind new mini lights!
Let’s pretend you have an old Christmas wreath with broken lights, a new set of green mini lights and $5 worth of green things from the Dollar store. What would you do?
You make a St Patrick’s Day wreath, naturally.
I was feeling the spirit of the Season and this afternoon, it was showing. I’m confident that the fact that I’m 3/4 Irish on my Dad’s side of the family influences my enjoyment of this Holiday.
I also like to re-use stuff and save money while making things festive at home.
Here is a list and photos of everything you’ll need for the project:
March 17th – also known as St Patrick’s Day – is just around the corner. I just have to say a holiday where you wear green to school or get a swift pinch on the arm is well grounded in my memory.
Here in the second week of February, green beer, parades, shamrocks, pots of gold and leprechauns are already making an appearance at Target!
The story of St. Patrick is full of adventure and faith. A great story to discuss with kids and adults alike. Imagine, a Roman citizen kidnapped as a child and transported to Ireland. Told in dream by God to escape, he does just that then returns years later to share the Christian faith with the Irish.
The folks at Veggie Tales have a lovely way of telling this story:
In keeping with a trend to decorate for more and more holidays through the year, here are a few suggestions to incorporate green into the Month of March … in honor of St Patrick and my Irish ancestors.
1. Assemble Spring items on the mantle and wind green mini lights around them. For just a few dollars, it’s easy to spice up the focal point of your den.
2. Replace any lights you’ve used to stuff wine bottles or glass bricks with green craft lights. Craft lights are great for this application because they just have one plug. Wine or liquor bottles filled with green craft lights will look great in your butler’s pantry or wet bar.
3. Pull a plain wreath out of the attic and replace the Christmas decorations with green mini lights and St Patrick’s day craft items from the dollar store.
4. Highlight your flower beds with green lights. I like to use C7 or C9 bulbs for this project. I love any excuse to use Christmas lights outside of the last quarter of the year.
I’ll be posting examples of all of these crafts over the next week!!
Get those creative juices flowing now and get ready to GO GREEN!
Every Christmas season white lights are the front runner in sales. Many customers prefer their clean, traditional look. But each season there is one color that surges forth in popularity.
This season’s “IT” color was blue – for all light strands and individual bulbs. Blue C7 and C9 incandescent bulbs in all varieties – opaque, transparent and twinkle showed strong sales and many varieties ran out across the country only half-way through the last quarter of the year.
We also saw a higher level of interest in even the blue net lights with remaining stock running completely out – and calls from interested customers told us that big box stores were running low as well.
The trend can be traced to higher interest in decorating with blue at retail locations in addition to higher interest among residential users.
Some of the prior years color winners were pink (always a huge favorite – especially in Florida) and green.
So that’s the Christmas Lights Report for 2012. (Almost sounds like the West Texas Crude Oil report!)
If you haven’t already taken down your Christmas Lights, here are a few tips you might consider as you put away the Holidays and welcome the cold starkness of January’s winter.
Sparkling, fairy-like, gleaming and in-your-face – this describes much of what you may find displayed at Christmas time. Christmas lights come in so many colors, styles and configurations. How can you possibly figure out what to do with your own home or office? Are you a minimalist or do you want to go all-out? Well… there are a few things to keep in mind while you find the answer to your questions.
When you are planning your Christmas lights displays, you will first want to make sure you know where all the power outlets are. You shouldn’t run more than 1000 watts on a breaker so you’ll need to make sure you have enough power for your display. You may need to call your wife’s brother who is an electrician to give you a had with your electrical requirements.
A second thing to consider when laying out your plan is to measure the area you wish to cover or outline. There’s nothing worse than stringing all your lights, hanging them, only to end up with a gap in the end. Measuring first will save you from having to overnight a box of lights so that your display will be finished before the family arrives for Thanksgiving Dinner.
Now that you have the two basic things figured out, how exactly should you lay out all those Christmas lights? Consider making a sketch of your game plan. If you know what you want and where you want it before you begin, you will make yourself a very happy camper.
Once your plan is laid out, it is time to go shopping! So.. did you decide you’re a minimalist or are you going for all the gusto? Let’s go over a few of the different types of lights you may find out there in the marketplace.
C7 and C9 bulbs and cords are traditional and time-honored light sets – just like your Grandmother may have used (though today’s sets have built in fuses!). They are full of tradition and nostalgia. And when you drive the neighborhood looking for the best over-the-top Christmas lights displays – these are probably the lights that will make you slow down.
Mini Lights are quite common since their release in the 1970s. These are the cute little guys that predominate the marketplace. These are a lower voltage alternative and they can be connected up to 210 watts in a series. Just check the power rating of your mini lights and follow the connectivity usage indicated on the power tags. These lights have a wonderful variety of colors, spacing and wire colors. It’s great to use mini lights for the Holidays and save them in an easy to get to closet to use for a party during other times of year.
When you wrap a trunk, start from the bottom and work your way up. This way you won’t come up short on the bottom. Be sure to take the time to de-tangle any Christmas light strands you may be reusing year after year, as well as checking for burnt out bulbs. Now.. have that cup of hot chocolate and enjoy the evening, you’re done!
Chasing lights can be fun to have to add variety to the mix. Most commonly available sets are built on three channels. By varying the speed of the chase, you can make the lights look like they are traveling down the strand or you adjust them to chase so fast that the patterns blends away. Placed irregularly on a shrub, the motion of these lights will appear to be random.
Rope lights are terrific choices for borders or to wrap around a tree trunk. these
Net lights can save you a lot of time and energy because they are readily available to be draped over your bushes or tree branches.
LED Christmas lights are the most environmentally friendly of the bunch. They use up to 90% less energy and produce bright jewel-toned colors. Since you can run so many sets in series and on the same outlet, LED lights may be a great option if you only have a couple of outlets on one breaker available for your display. It’s also nice that they are more durable than glass bulbs and are non-breakable in harsh winds. Remember that the wires in LED sets are susceptible to UV degradation and the LEDs may outlive the wiring. Plan to plug these lights into GFCI outlets – preferably with a surge protector.
Now you’ve done the planning and the shopping. Next – what is the best way to keep those darned lights up on that roof, tree, bush or wall?
Gutters and eave Christmas lights are best serviced by using plastic clips that you can slide under shingles or clip to the edge of the gutter. Some popular varieties are All-in-One clips that can do both, gutter clips (for just gutters) and Original Shingle tabs that are tailored for bulbs and cords that you assemble yourself. You insert the bulb through the clip into the socket. Other installation methods include cup-hooks, staple guns and really sticky tape. You’ll have to decide what works best for your application.
Don’t forget your yard, flower beds and walkways. C7 or C9 light cords on stakes at their edges nicely finish off your project. Look for universal stakes that are sturdy enough to be hammered in.
This article just touched on a few things to consider this Christmas Season – have fun and let me know how you are decorating for the season.
October certainly does see the kick-off of the holiday dinner party and after-5 event calendar. I really do love this time of year…. and I love to give a party or two of my own.
One set of lights that I keep handy at my house are a few sets of white and colored lights on black wire. I use the clear for more formal occasions and will use the colored lights to decorate for sports or if I’m running with a color scheme like pink for October or blue for a little boy party… superheroes always come with a lot of blue!
Christmas lights on black wire are great as the wire takes second stage to your mini light bulbs once the sun goes down. This makes them perfect for decorating between the rafters of an overhead patio arbor.
I also love them in our basement as they can be tucked under our make-shift “Our Gang” stage and give my sons another thing to choose for ambiance for their latest production.
Orange on black wire is a great choice for parties in October. We love kicking off Autumn with a fun get-together with friends and family where we serve warm stew and start pulling out the mulling spices (even if it is still 90 degrees in the afternoon in Texas). Using lights to decorate these events is inexpensive and makes up for the total lack of snow and fall breezes. The orange lights are perfect for Halloween and the black wire blends nicely against a dark background on our porch when we have the energy to put together decorations that freak out all the neighborhood kids.
As part of our Christmas lights business, we sell many, many strands of black wire lights to convention centers, event planners, arts studios, galleries and other similar business. The color of the wire makes them just look a little more upscale. We also have customers who want to light up a dark background and the black wires blend in nicely with a black backdrop.
I even spoke to a non-profit in Miami this week about creating a wall of a curtain of stars with these lights against black drapes. I suggested they even consider adding a second layer of black organza to further diffuse the lights creating that starry affect.
So, whether, you are like me – just inviting a few friends over for soup – or are planning your groups next big gala, consider using these mini lights as part of your decoration.
Best regards and have fun with your next party! I’ll be discussing some great new LED bulbs that work well for outdoor decor in my next post.
There are definitely some trends to watch in Christmas lighting this year. Vendors in the United States are starting to receive their containers from manufacturers and you’re sure to see many of these items showing up soon.
1. As always, growth in non-traditional Christmas light colors is growing. Classy, traditional and fabulous, white lights will more than likely always hold the top spot when it comes to decorating for the Holidays but teal, pink and purple are all expanding their influence in the marketplace and in yards across America. If lights colors had personality, these colors would be the edgier selections indicating a sense of adventure and desire to stand apart from the crowd!!
2. Sales of craft lights are continuing to remain strong as people install them in everything from glass bricks to novelty liquor bottles! Folks are drilling holes at the bottoms of their wine bottles and lighting them with all sorts of colors of lights. To meet the need, there will be a wide variety of sets available with just one plug so that you don’t have to worry about that pesky female plug at the end of your set of mini lights. Be on the lookout for sets that have extra long leads between the plugs and first light.
3. For the first time, craft lights will be broadly available in LED format. This is a great solution for crafters who don’t want to be affected by the heat emitted by traditional incandescent craft lights. The LED lights are more expensive but for some applications, they are definitely worth it.
4. A wider variety of LED bulbs will be available for the 2012-2013 season. Now that C7 and C9 LED retrofit bulbs have shown themselves to be viable players in the marketplace, customers requesting larger round bulbs for use to decorate for parties and for their patios, are going to happy with LED G50 light bulbs with different sized bases for compatibility with different base cords.
5. Animated LED icicles are back and the special effects falling light will be a thrill for kids and Christmas light enthusiasts everywhere. They’ll be compatible with traditional C9 stringer wire and will come in 5 lengths ranging from 5 to 24 inches.
6. There will be a wider variety of mini lights colors available on black wire. Perfect for this new trend in sophisticated black Christmas trees and great for wrapping black columns.
7. Customers will finally be able to mix and match LED bulbs in pre-wired sets as we roll out a line of LED sets that do not use the uni-body construction techniques of prior years. This is a fun product that will allow you to have red, white and blue lights or lights to match your favorite sporting teams…. fun for parties and for the Holidays.
That’s just a sampling of what there is to look forward for the upcoming 2012 Christmas season. Everything should be received and loaded online and ready for purchase at Christmas Light Source by September 1st!!
Are you a LEGO lover? Want to have another excuse to leave them out with your other home decor? LOL
I’ve just posted a video showing how you can light up a Queen Anne’s Revenge lego project using yellow fairy lights. Also known as micro-drop lights, these LED battery light sets are perfect for lego and building projects. Adding lights gives the ship extra function as a sort-of night light in a child’s room.
My husband, David, came up with this idea after our son finished the project. He decided to use yellow to simulate the lanterns. Since the light drops are on a flexible wire, it’s easy to string them in and out of the project. The obvious place to put each one is in all of the lanterns but adding one behind the cannon doors that open, set off the sides of the ship really nicely.
One thing to keep in mind when using battery operated lights is how long the batteries are expected to last. The longer the set and the heavier the connecting, wire, the less time you’ll get out of each batter set. LED lights require less power than traditional incandescent battery lights but as a rule of thumb, most battery sets last from 4 to 24 hours. Since the fairy lights are constructed on coated wires, the resistance of the sets – and as a result the current draw – is really low and they last over 100 hours depending on the brand and age of the batteries.
This type of light would also work great for a Christmas village if you had a little house or scene that was too far from a plug to use a traditional Christmas light.
Now, I’m looking forward to lighting up other projects and posting them to this blog. Imagine what you can do with an x-wing fighter or a the Harry Potter Hogwarts castle. I’m starting to wonder if that would make a lego a deductible expense?
Have fun with your own LEGO projects and if you think of something really cool, please shoot me a photo
Happy LEGO building,