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Lighting & Decorating Tips

-adapted from Good Tidings® decorating information

Lighting Tidbits & Facts

  • Electricity flows in a circle
  • All lights are not created equal
  • Bulb filament dictates life span
  • Length of cut between bulbs is called spacing
  • 3-inch spacing of bulbs uses twice the amount of electricity of a light set of 6-inch spacing.
  • Shorter spacing makes your tree look too bright.

Bulb Replacements (110-120 volt types)

  • Bulbs are made up of the filament, shunt and glass
  • Treetops have ten bulb lights that divide into 120 volts, 12 volt bulbs are needed
  • 100 Light sets break into two 50 light sets that divide into 120 volts, requiring a 2.5 volt bulb replacement.
  • 70 Light sets break into two 35 light sets that divide into 120 volts, requiring a 3.5 volt bulb replacement.
  • Always change out burnt bulbs, as you will shorten the life of the set because the voltage changes and causes a strain on the remaining bulbs.

The Circle of “Light”

  • Although it is true that lights will stay on when one goes out, if the bulb is out of the socket the circle of electricity is broken
  • If a bulb burns out or is hot enough or explodes inside the glass, both the filament and shunt can be affected and the circle is broken…this is called silvering.
  • Stay-on technology offers a spring below the bulb to keep the contact (circle) constant and will not be affected by an explosion or a bulb out of socket.

Troubleshooting a “Pre-lit” tree – Step 1

  • Study the set that is burnt out
  • Look for an empty socket missing a bulb
  • Check if bulb have turned “silvered”
  • Twist the bulb in the socket slightly to make better contact

Troubleshooting – Step 2

  • Test light set plugs individually until bad set is found, re-plug good sets when isolated

Troubleshooting – Step 3

  • Use the “LightKeeper” light tester and repair tool (refer to instructions)

Basic Lighting Methods

  • Always have your sets lit when wrapping the branches with your lights.  If lights flicker, start inspecting the bulbs closest to your hand first and then proceed away
  • When putting light sets on trees, wreaths and garlands; position the lights on the branches to face the light bulbs downward from the top branches, position the bulbs over and under the middle branches, and on top of the bottom branches for maximum brilliance
  • When done, stand back from tree and “squint” your eyes to see holes where lights are needed.

What You’ll Need to Decorate Your Tree

  • The amounts of material needed will vary based on the fullness of the tree or how it is being decorated. A tree with fewer branches will require fewer lights but will likely need more ornaments for example.
  • Here’s a chart to get you started. Have Fun!

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