In only minutes, you can ensure your Christmas tree will meet the "merry and bright" standard. Your holiday lighting dreams can surpass expectations with just a bit of advance planning.
"There's nothing more frustrating than gathering the family to decorate the tree or house only to find some of your light sets don't work," says John DeCosmo, CEO of Ulta-Lit Technologies, maker of the LightKeeper Pro, a one-of-a-kind tool that not only finds the bad bulb on a string of lights but also illuminates the rest of the working bulbs.
"With just a few pulls of the trigger, you can reclaim your special family moment and become the hero who saves Christmas," DeCosmo says.
At $19.99, the LightKeeper Pro is both economical and eco-friendly. In many, many instances, users save money by reducing the need to replace an entire string of lights simply because of a couple of bad bulbs. Old sets of lights don't need to end up in a landfill.
Ask for help -- at no charge: Should your holiday lights darken, Ulta-Lit's lighting pros answer questions every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas at (888) 858-2548. To better assist they also take calls year-round during standard business hours. Or, refer to the Ulta-Lit website at Ulta-Lit.
With over 100 years of experience with light sets, here are some tips from the pros:
* Measure: Using your two hands, touch your pointer fingertip to your other pointer fingertip. Then take your thumb tip to your other thumb tip. Bring all four tips together to create a maximum 1/8" diamond. While standing no less than 10 feet away from your lit tree, peek through that diamond and scan the tree from side to side, top to bottom. This will assist in finding dark spots where you may want to add more lights for a fully lit tree.
* Quality vs. price: Commercial-grade light sets are more reliable for outdoor use because of their durability and thicker insulation.
* Decide on LED vs. incandescent: LEDs are more expensive than incandescent lights, but they last longer. The use of a tree with 1,000 incandescent bulbs can cost $10 over an average holiday season, while the same tree with LEDs would cost approximately $1.50.
* Replace and repair: If you notice one or two unlit bulbs within a section that is primarily operating properly, replace those bulbs ASAP. Two burned-out bulbs can decrease the lifespan of the light set by 39 percent, four burned-out bulbs by 67 percent.