Buying Globe Lights? Let us help you!
Finding Out How Many String Lights You Need
One of the first and most important things you need to find out is how much overall globe light strand length you will need. This differs from person to person depending on ideal lighting, and from location to location. Things you will want to take into account is how you are planning on hanging, power supply, and how much light output are you looking for. Answering these questions will help you make a better buying decision, which will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Hanging Your Lights
Take an analysis of your location and where you will be hanging the strings from. Will there be lengths where the strand will be hanging? Anytime you hang lights without constant support (like along beams, or on your roof) there will be a droop that you will want to account for. It will add to how much length of strand you will need. One of the most common mistakes people make is buying just enough string to stretch straight across the location, and don’t take into account for the droop. Will there be large gaps? If so, you may want to pair your globe string light with a support guide wire.This will assist you in minimizing and controlling how much of a droop you will experience in between supports. If you are planning on keeping your lights up for longer than an event, it will also help prolong the life if your strand by reducing the strain on the strand.
Choosing a Lighting Pattern
There are many different light patterns to pick from, and picking a lighting pattern will help you find out how much length of string lights you will need. A perimeter style is often the easiest, however, sometimes you will want the lights to hang over your location as well. See the following lighting pattern examples:
Choosing a lighting pattern will largely depend on your location and what supports/hanging locations are available. You want to make sure that your lights are hung high enough that you and your guests are not ducking underneath. Does your location not provide enough supports to create your lighting vision? Add some!
Is it the main light source or an addition? Finding this out will let you know just how much globe light bulbs you need. You might find that you just want an accent light, and want to hang you string lights with a delicate touch. Or you want a your lighting to be a big impact, in which case you will want to make sure that there is enough light bulbs providing the light output you are looking for.
Find out what your electric options are
How many outlets are available and where are they? Before purchasing globe lights you will want to know the answer to this question. You will need to know where the outlets are in relation to where you will be hanging your lights. You might need multiple runs of light strands, and will need multiple outlets.
How much power available? This is absolutely crucial and the top thing that people do not take into account. In addition to knowing how many outlets you have available, you need to know how much power you have at your disposal. You need to know how much circuit power is available, and which outlets share circuits. Often, people will plug one strand into one outlet, and another strand into a different outlet and a fuse will blow because those outlets share a circuit.
Look at circuit power, not outlet power. Often this should be labeled in the breaker panel, or if you are using an event location, check with the owners, they should have this information available.
The average residential circuit 15-20 amps. Use this information to find out your maximum amount of lights to put on your circuit. Use the following guide 15A X 120 V = 1800 Watts) (20A X 1020 V = 2400 Watts). Each globe light strand on our site should be marked with the Amp information as well.
Once you know how much power you have available in your location, you will know how much power you can allot to the string lights. Don’t forget to take into account any other electrical needs in the room, DJ booth, food station, Etc.
If you have a limited amount of power, the easiest way to get more lights to fit is to go LED. LED lights use less than 10% of a comparable Incandescent light. See more about LED below. Expert tip: once in your location and have everything put together, and you are anywhere near the maximum power, be sure to block off any outlets. You don't want an unsuspecting guest to accidentally blow a fuse by charging their phone!
Once you know how much length you need, and where your electrical outlets are, you can start deciding what you want in terms of strands with end-to-end capabilities. Some strands do not come with end-to-end connectors and end with a socket. This will appeal to people who only need a certain length, and do not plan on adding on, or like the look of the string ending on a socket. If you do use an end to end strand, be aware of not only the circuits maximum power but also the strands. Each strand has a limit of how many additional strands can be connected based off of what type of bulb it uses and how many watts.
Be aware of where your ends will be when hanging the strand. Most end-to-end strands have a lead length and tail length that when put together will keep the distance between bulbs the same as on the rest of the strand. When the end to end connectors meet in the middle of a droop, if the droop is long enough it can put enough strain on the end to end connection that they come unplugged. To resolve this issue use a guide wire to reduce the strain, or use zip ties to secure the connection.
Picking a Bulb
Next, you will want to pick out the bulb that best fits your needs. Keep in mind the following things when picking out your bulb
- Power Needs
- Bulb Shape
LED vs Incandescent
There are so many bulb options, it's good to narrow down what works for your intended style and needs. Incandescent bulbs have a soft classic glow and tend to be more cost effective for single or event use. LED Bulbs have a wide range of styles, and while they can be a little more costly initially, they will quickly save you money since the power consumption is less than 10% of an incandescent bulb. This appeals to people who intend to put up their lights for long periods of time, as well as people with limited power in their location. Incandescent bulbs have an average lifespan of around 3,000 hours, while LED last significantly longer, an average of around 9,000 hours +, meaning you will have to replace bulbs far less often.
Incandescent bulbs give off a certain amount of heat so it is important to make sure that the bulbs are in a somewhat ventilated area, and are not directly up against anything, especially fabrics. If you let your incandescent bulbs get too hot, they may burn out more quickly than otherwise. LED bulbs do not give off the same type of heat, making them a little more versatile and able to go in more locations, especially when fabric is involved.
Incandescent bulbs naturally give off a warm white glow. They also can come in color options where the glass is colored. When choosing between a clear incandescent and a pearl white, note that the light on the clear bulb is more dispersed and spreads to a wider area. The light in a pearl white bulb is more focused, making it especially perfect for day events, or events in well lit locations.
When picking out clear LED bulbs you can choose from Warm White or Cool White. Warm white has a warmer more yellow hue to mimic the glow of incandescent light. Cool White has a cooler output with a slightly blue hue. Though Warm white tends to be more classic, cool white has been rising in popularity. Cool White lights tend to do especially well when the decor has a cool color scheme such as blues, purples, and cooler greens. LED’s also can come in as well as many other color options, including color changing. LED will also tend to have more options in the way of brightness, especially when purchasing Dimmable Bulbs. Dimmable bulbs give you the capability of choosing exactly how bright you want your lights to be.
Glass vs Acrylic
We offer a selection of acrylic bulbs that are perfect for preventing breakage. This is especially ideal for people looking to light up areas near/above pools where the chance of broken glass would be quite unfortunate. If your globe lights will be hanging across spaces (instead of constantly supported by a edge like a roof or fence top) there will inevitably be some amount of sway. If your strand could swing into anything, having acrylic bulbs will prevent breakage. Overtime acrylic bulbs do have a tendency to scratch and smudge much more than glass will, so that is also something to consider.
Picking a String
Commercial vs Regular
When choosing between commercial and regular grade string lights, you will want to think about how you will be using your strand long term. If you are planning on using it for an event, or for seasonal use, a regular grade strand might work best for you. If you intend to use your lights year round or for long periods of time, commercial grade strand would be better suited to your needs.
The commercial grade strands come with a heavy duty thicker gauge wire , with PVC encapsulated sockets that are resistant to UV sunlight exposure. The sockets also hug to the light bulb, creating a better seal and preventing water from getting inside. As a result both the strand and all your bulbs will last you a long long time.
Suspended vs Inline
In the commercial grade E27 Strands, you can choose between inline sockets, or suspended sockets. Choosing between them is mostly a style preference according to which looks best for you. it is worth noting that the suspended sockets have a lot more movement to them, so if they are in a position to have a lot of sway, make sure that they can't swing into anything and break any bulbs.
Choosing a Wire Color
Our globe light strands come in white, black, green and brown, allowing you a selection to choose from to best fit your needs. Some people want the strands to stand out as a statement piece, others want them to blend in and let the lights themselves stand out. It is recommended that for whichever strand color you choose, if you use an extension cord, to match the color of your strand.
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