Buying Xmas Lights? - Know what your Buying!

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This guide is intended as a brief introduction to buyers of Christmas Lights on eBay or anywhere else.

 There are 'unseen differences' between various light items that are listed.

 

ICICLE LIGHTS

Icicle lights are small strings of light that hang from your gutters, they come in two types LED and normal globes, LED Icicle lights are becoming more popular and most 'icicle lights' on eBay are now LED.

'Length'  ...Longer the better??

Assuming both of these sets have 500 LED's 
500 LED ICICLE LIGHTS 20 Meter Length =  Roughly  25  Bulbs  per meter
500 LED ICICLE LIGHTS 10 Meter Length =  Roughly 50 Bulbs per meter
To explain ...you might see a set of 500 that has 20M Length, sounds good, and it is a cheaper solution. If you want to make an impact - invest in  the 500/10M - the shorter length will give you twice as many bulbs (It will look twice as bright)!! Guaranteed to have people asking where you bought them from!!


ROPE LIGHT & ROPE LIGHT MOTIFS

Many Christmas lights on eBay are made of ropelight, ropelight is durable and offers substantial protection to the (usually glass) bulbs inside. Though it is important to understand that Ropelight can differ in many ways especially quality!! This guide is intended to make your purchase easier.

'Bulbs per Meter'

You will find many sellers do not display how many lights bulbs are in each meter of there rope light,  This is can because they are cutting costs by offering less 'bulbs per meter', Ideally for the brightest display always ensure your item has 36 bulbs per meter (after all 24 bulbs per meter is only 2/3 as bright).

Controllers

When buying ropelight in rolls you will usually find they come with a standard 8 Function Controller, it is best to look for the newer 8 Function Memory Controller, these offer all the features of regular controllers, with the benefit of 'set & forget', this means that each time the rope light is switched on it stays set to your favorite function.


LED Rope Light

Led Rope light is much brighter when compared to normal 'Bulb' type rope light, it's advantages are that it lasts a lot longer (Quoted as upto 22,000 hrs average per bulb in some cases) It is also much more power efficient - costing less to run. The only downside to LED rope light, is cost it is generally about 2.5 - 3 X the cost of regular rope light, but if you are after something BRIGHT that will last longer, it is the best way to go!

The bellow (untouched) photo, shows normal 36 Bulb per meter rope light (top), with 36 bulb ber meter LED Rope light at the bottom.



Size of Rope Light Motifs

It is not uncommon for some sellers to cut costs by producing a similar item in a smaller size,  it is still best to compare the size of similar/identicle looking designs before buying or bidding.  When it comes to items like archways (designed to be walked under), a smaller item may make the item near useless for it's intended purpose.

Last but not least...beware of excessive Postage Charges!!

A quick search through the listings of 'christmas lights' will reveal a enormous amount of listings that seem to sell for next to nothing (ie 99c or a bit more), many of these sellers are profiting from postage & handling charges, what this could mean to you is that if win an item for example for 99c then pay $39.99 (inc their $39 postage & handling fee), then receive a faulty item, they may only offer to refund the item cost (99c) to you.
Basically as a guide - if the item weighs under 20KG and isn't bigger than a large suitcase it is unreasonable to charge more than $12 for a delivery within the same Metro Area, even if you live interstate from the seller & they charge more than $12 within their own city.....it should ring alarm bells!


Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas in '08!!

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