As you drive through holiday neighborhoods, you might notice that some holiday lights seem brighter or more vibrant than others. According to the American Lighting Association, LED lights are becoming more popular than traditional incandescent lights.

“Incandescent bulbs have been used for decorating holiday trees since 1882, shortly after (Thomas)Edison invented and demonstrated his first practical incandescent bulbs on New Year’s Eve in 1879,”Terry McGowan, director of technology for ALA, said this. “Now, more than a century later, incandescent holiday lights are being phased out as LED bulbs appear in a multitude of types, colors, sizes and string configurations.”

LEDs offer more than strings of incandescent lamps.

* Longer bulb life (3-year warranties; average life up to 100,000 hours)

* Energy savings (16-17 watts of savings for a 25-foot light string) — a reduction of more than 75 percent

* Bright colors — LEDs generate only the desired color; incandescent bulbs use color filters which waste light

* Cool operation — LEDs have no hot filament inside; bulbs remain cool

What’s new in this year?

* Miniature Light Strings. LEDs are small and can easily be fabricated to produce tiny dots or light.(*) (American Lighting Inc.These are the calls www.Americanlighting.comLights. These cool-operating, tiny lights can be strung to decorate leaves, flowers, or as a centerpiece. These light strings come in a variety of colors and can be operated at low voltage. Some strings can also be used as a centerpiece for flowers.”dew drop”* Tree wrapping. Strings of lights wrapped tightly around the base of deciduous tree branches and up into the branches create a festive appearance. Strings of lights should be 6 inches between each bulb. They can then be wrapped around trunk and limbs using no more than 3 inches between the layers.

* Magnetic sockets. These sockets can be used with standard screw in or LED bulbs. They are available with built-in magnetics that attach tightly to any ferrous material. You can mount your lights straight in a line with a narrow metal backing strip. It makes installation, take-down and spacing adjustments quick. Magnets hold the lights in place and are stable in any weather condition.

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