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The 9 Best Christmas Lights, Tested By Real People

pop best christmas lights 1633541777The holidays are a joyous time—friends and family, food, festive decorations (once they’re up, that is). Before you can actually enjoy them, you have to deal with the frustrations of burned-out bulbs, tangled wires, colors that don’t pop. One solution to kick off your holiday a little more smoothly is to start with the right lights. To help, we’ve tested some of the most popular LED and incandescent strings of lights to help sort out the differences.
 
Traditional Incandescent Versus LED Lights
Traditional “mini lights” use a tiny incandescent bulb that presses into a plastic socket. The contacts on the light bulb are thin wires that are bent back and contact the socket when the bulb is pressed in. There are some common issues with this type of light. For one, putting them up and taking them down can wiggle the bulbs and cause intermittent contact in the socket, making them go out or come back on. Even worse, if one bulb is out, a whole section of the string of lights will go out. With the larger lights (C7, C9) that screw in, the bulbs can loosen in the socket or possibly overheat, melting tinsel or plastic ornaments.
 
People often look to LED lights to solve their holiday lighting problems—because they use less power, more strings can be connected to create displays that would impress even Clark Griswold—but there are some things to consider. One of the big issues is the “color” of white lights—typically, you’ll see white LED lights offered in warm, daylight, and cool. Daylight is generally going to look the whitest, while cool white trends toward blue, and warm white is more amber—like a traditional candle light. When it comes to multicolor lights, this isn’t as big an issue. However, if you light the traditional colors of incandescent mini lights, you’ll find the colors themselves aren’t quite the same. With larger LEDs, meant to mimic actual screw-in bulbs, the colors are a bit closer.
 
There are two kinds of wiring harness that string LED lights together. The first type is wired almost exactly like traditional mini lights; the LED sits inside a plastic “bulb” and is pressed into the mini light socket. Over time, these may develop some of the same intermittent contact issues of the incandescent lights—it is less likely, but still possible. The upside is that an LED can be replaced if it goes out. On the second type of LED light string, the LED is soldered right to the wire string, and then sealed. The benefit here is that there aren’t any wires or sockets to loosen, but if an LED goes out there’s no easy way to replace it.
 
Keep in mind: You should always refer to the manufacturer’s product information to determine exactly how many lights can be strung together.
 
How We Tested
Every holiday light string on this list has been tested and evaluated by our team of test editors. To select the lights, we researched the market, surveyed user reviews, and used our own experience with these types of string lighting to determine the best options. We selected typical examples of the various options and installed them on an artificial tree, stretching them out, stringing them up, lighting them, taking them down, and rolling them back up for storage. We evaluated the lights based on value, function, performance, aesthetics, and ease of use. Here are 10 we recommend.
These LED lights from Brizled have a little something for just about everyone. The 66-foot string of lights features nine color/blinking functions, as well as a three-step dimmer, a timer, and a remote control. The functions include steady on for both warm white and multicolors, blinking for both, and several versions of blinking or fading with varied timing. The warm white was a pleasant color, not leaning too much toward yellow, and the colored LEDs were a little on the pastel side—as advertised. The wire strand is silver so it is a little obvious in daylight, but the light set is also offered with black wire, which will be less visible. The built-in timer will run the lights for 6 hours on then 18 off. While these lights can be used outdoors, the plug and transformer/control box need to be protected from water.
 
Article & Photos Source
POPULAR MECHANICS
BY BRADLEY FORD AND PAIGE SZMODIS
 

Microsoft