Christmas lights

Dr Lobster*
Posts: 2013
Joined: Sat 30 Aug, 2003 20.14

i absolutely love christmas lights.

i remember as a child being mesmerised by the warm glow of our christmas tree with it's 20 or so little incandescent screw in bulbs casting all those strange shadows and shapes on the wall and ceiling - and that's the thing, as much as i love led lighting, most led fairy light sets are either too harsh or too monochromatic these days, last year i actually had an old retro incandescent set on my tree, but they don't last - and several of the bulbs were dead when i got them out of storage (plus they use about 30w of power)

so, this year, I went on a bit of a mission and totally updated all our lights - (haven't actually got a tree yet)

of all the places, Tesco do these really nicely coloured lights - they are almost pastel


and then these, got them from a local garden centre, it's hard to get the colour from the picture but they have a classic orangey, almost pinkish glow to them - they have almost the came colour as a classic incandescent micro lamp.

and for a bit of 80s cheese, these clip on candles. I seem to remember back in the day these types of lights actually had mini neon flicker bulbs in them - these are just led - non-flickering, but have a nice warm glow.

hopefully the tree we get will have enough branches for all of these!

what is your christmas lighting situation looking like this year?
Posts: 2972
Joined: Sat 01 Oct, 2005 17.50

Being a child of the 80s, I like garish multicolour proper bulb lights so get sets from Tesco or Wilkinson every couple of years when they break. Not a fan of the endless loop system they employ nowadays which forces a double helix arrangement around the tree, and I need two sets for our tree.

Have an IKEA Swedish candle bridge in my mancave window plus lights around the edge, and this year thanks to a few new plugs in our new kitchen we'll put some in the kitchen window too.

Elsewhere it's all multicolour tinsel and other trimmings, plus a wall hanging, and candles, candles, candles.
Posts: 620
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 12.35

I've got a couple of sets of these lovely ones from Wilko - they gently cycle through the spectrum, and are great for hanging up around the edges of the room. I've got a set at work too which hang up around the window to the corridor (which reminds me, I really need to get them PAT tested.)

Our tree lights are probably 8 years old now, and are quite a cool white LED. I think this'll be their last year in the living room before they get relegated to the back garden and I'll look out for some warmer white ones once they start getting cheaper at the end of the month. I've got a slightly newer set of LED ones which go on the shrubbery in the front garden. Once they go up, they'll all go on WeMo switches and turn on at sunset.
Posts: 1148
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

I still run a couple of sets of ancient incandescent lights with dodgy shades. An early 90's set of 40 which is arranged in a straight line unlike later sets which saved on the cost of a return wire all the way through the set by simply arranging in a loop. Then a second set of 40 from 2001 in the aforementioned looped arrangement which has to be disconnected from the plug to make them neatly fit round the tree and then be connected up again.

The older set seems to resolutely carry on working forever with all 40 lights, whilst each year the newer set seems to shed another bulb and I'm waiting for the day the whole lot blows through overvoltage (as of last year it was down to 34 lights, so 7V through 6V rated bulbs).

I really like the look of them (and the small amount of warmth given off from them) and will miss them when they finally give up.

Amazingly, incandescent sets (albeit shadeless) still seem to be sold very cheaply on ebay. The quality will of course be dubious but then I'm not sure the old sets from the 90's were made to particularly exacting standards anyway.
bilky asko
Posts: 1171
Joined: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 19.48

I bought some similar to those Wilko ones from Sainsbury's - it's a really nice effect.

Wilko have also done a nice cyan and purple set of LEDs for the past couple of years, with some really good smoothing (meaning no flicker as your eyes move around the room).

I've noticed a bigger range of battery powered strings this year. Sainsbury's have brought back the pastel pink string, and I've seen a few more of the "angel' strings with the thin wire and decently bright LEDs.

Morrisons have some 240 LED strings which take 6 x AAs and have a 6h on / 18h off timer, and Poundland have a 50 LED string with a similar timer, with caps that simulate the old fashioned fairy lights.
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Posts: 1127
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 21.41
Location: Not Alaska

I've got some snazzy ones that mappable for tree based animation, love em!

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Posts: 2073
Joined: Tue 22 Apr, 2008 18.32
Location: Carlton

+1 for the RGB colour changing LED berry-style lights. I bought a few sets cheap from Argos and Wilko last year, and there are 400 of them on my tree now, plus a couple of 'curtain' sets on my front windows.

I really like the idea of the 'Twinkly' app controlled sets they have at John Lewis but good God they are expensive.
Posts: 968
Joined: Fri 22 Feb, 2008 21.23
Location: Merseyside

I've got to be honest, despite LEDs obviously being more efficient and lasting longer, I still prefer the traditional Christmas fairy lights. I just prefer the colour and brightness of them, and I don't think they look ugly like the standard LED ones do. But I'll have to get used to it as the traditional ones inevitably stop working and I have to get replacements.

Not a fan of the blue, blindingly bright LED streetlights either but again, it's probably the stupidest thing to get annoyed about, so I won't.
Posts: 620
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 12.35

I bought a couple of packs of LED lights in Tesco and have been a little disappointed - and will probably send both back. What I'd quite like are some of these from Wilko (I've got the warm white version), but seem to have left it too late and they've all sold out.
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