DETROIT (WWJ) – ‘Tis the season to make spirits bright with holiday lights!

The day after Thanksgiving kicks off the decorating season and is the most popular day to hang holiday lights.

We’ve all been there before: While decorating the tree or house, a whole section of lights goes dark, along with holiday spirits. Light outages can be frustrating and time-consuming to repair during the busy holiday season.

Here are some tips to keep holiday lights and spirits bright:

To estimate the number of lights needed for your tree, plan on an average of 100 lights per every foot of tree height.

LED vs. Incandescent
LED lights are more expensive than incandescent, but typically last longer. Due to their low voltage, more sets of LED lights can be strung together end-to-end than traditional sets. Be sure to use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL).

Before stringing lights check for broken bulbs and sockets, frayed cords, burned out lights and loose connections. Replace and repair any damaged light sets.

Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the safe number of LED strands to connect. Use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord.

Indoor vs. Outdoor
Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use. Outside lights are exposed to water, so they should be rated for outdoor use. Wrap connections with electrical tape when two or more light strands are being used. Outdoor lights should be plugged into circuits protected by ground-fault-interrupters (GFCIs).

Live and Artificial Trees
To string lights on an evergreen tree, begin at the top of the tree and wind the strands through its center, widening with the tree’s shape. For deciduous trees, work your way up. Wrap lights around the base of its trunk, moving upward in a spiral formation. If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the UL label.

Replace and Repair Lights
To get the most out of your light sets, do occasional visual checks for any bulbs that are no longer working. Replace those bulbs as soon as possible.

Holiday Light Helpline
For questions about holiday light repairs, call the holiday lighting pros at Ulta-Lit year-round and 7 days a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas at 888-858-2548 or visit


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