Incandescent Vs LED Bulbs for String Lights

One of the great things about string lights is that you can connect multiple sets together to get a longer run of lights. You can buy long strands though they are harder to work with than a shorter section so it can be advantageous to use some shorter strands instead of one super-long string of…

One of the great things about string lights is that you can connect multiple sets together to get a longer run of lights. You can buy long strands though they are harder to work with than a shorter section so it can be advantageous to use some shorter strands instead of one super-long string of lights. One of the limitations on the number of strings you can connect together is the amount of power the bulbs draw.

Incandescent globe bulbs typically draw 5 or 7 watts each so most conventional string lights only allow you to attach 2 or 3 sets together. LED bulbs draw much less power and as a result you can create much longer light runs than with conventional bulbs. Some popular LED string lights are capable of light runs of 87 sets which would give you hundreds of feet of lighted length.

There are downsides to LED bulbs though. If you want a brighter light a set of LED lights that has a maximum strand length of 80+ sets is likely going to be too dim for your purposes. If you choose brighter LED bulbs you can then trade brightness in exchange for a shorter strand of lights. Light Emitting Diode globes are also often made of plastic which is quite durable but not as pleasing to the eye as the popular glass G40 globes you'll find on conventional outdoor string lights. Some LED globes are available with glass construction for better aesthetics but you should expect a higher price point.

One other potential advantage of the low-energy LED lights is the fact that you can choose from a variety of bulb colors. You might want a warm, sunny like glow for a cafe type setting but during Christmas-time you'd rather have a multi-colored strand. With LEDs you can use the same cord but purchase different bulbs for use during both seasons.

If the extra durability of plastic globed, energy efficient lights is not enough to win you over you can still enjoy the great looks of conventional glass globe string lights without the hassle by taking a few extra steps to ensure you do not end up with broken bulbs. One way to avoid damaging the sometimes delicate globes is to take out the bulbs before you install the light string so that you can set it up without knocking the bulbs against one another. Once the light string is in place you can then add the bulbs back to the string and light it up. You could also buy string lights that include decorative lanterns or paper housings over the bulbs for protection.