Outdoor Animated Christmas Lights
Outdoor animated Christmas lights bring joy to you and your neighbors at a time when your lawn and garden have gone dormant and you have moved your leisure activities indoors. Putting together an animated display of outdoor Christmas decor is a fun project that will get you outdoors and active in the crisp winter air. Decide how much of a spectacle you want to make in your front yard and neighborhood, and then do some research to see if your goal fits your budget.
Choices for Outdoor Animated Christmas Lights
When you think of outdoor animated Christmas lights you might picture one of the displays that you have seen in other yards of simple images that move through space. These animations are 2-dimensional images of things like Santa in his sleigh being pulled by 2 or 3 reindeer, kids sledding down a hill, Santa waving, or even just a simple moving image of bells and bows. Because it is dark, you can’t see the frame or hardware that holds the lighted image, and you just see the moving image, which is magical for kids (even now!) and fun for adults.
These types of 2-dimensional graphic displays are normally bought ready-made and are priced anywhere from $200.00 for an approx. 4 square foot piece to $1800.00 for a much larger piece. Manufacturers’ specs for these pieces will generally include the number of amps it takes to run them. The best of these outdoor Christmas displays have powder-coated frames, rather than painted, and clipped on bulbs, rather than taped.
Outdoor String Lights
Less expensive and probably more unique outdoor animated Christmas light displays can be created by installing good, old fashion outdoor string lights that twinkle, blink, or cycle. These outdoor string lights can use mini bulbs, mini LED bulbs, or larger and more colorful C7 transparent bulbs. There are solar outdoor string lights and rope lights to consider. In addition to those basic elements, you can include 2-dimensional images that blink on and off instead of moving through space.
You might also consider using new technology, the LED rope light. Although LED rope lights can be used for many purposes besides holiday lighting, such as lighting your driveway or walkway, you can be really creative with them and create a different sort of outdoor animated Christmas lights display.
Making an outdoor animated Christmas display from scratch is best left to techie types, don’t try it yourself unless you have a background in electrical engineering and programming. You can buy bulbs, and wire and control boxes for DIY, but know what you are doing, please! Don’t let your outdoor animated Christmas lights electrocute you!
Costs of Outdoor Animated Christmas Lights
Two factors decide the cost of your outdoor animated Christmas lights. The lighting hardware itself, such as bulbs, wire, clips, tape, framing, staking, heavy-duty outdoor extension cords, and a bulb testing machine, and/or the price of a ready-made display, is only one aspect of your costs. The other aspect is the price of the electricity to run your display.
You can only speculate about the electrical costs of your outdoor animated Christmas lights. You can calculate how many of which type of bulb(s) you are going to use to find out your general amps requirement, multiplied by your cost per amp. You’ll know for sure when you get your electric bill, or when the electric utility company calls you to tell you that you are running up a big bill!
Here is a very general idea of amps used for C-7 bulbs and minis:
C-7 bulbs= 5 watts
25 bulbs = 1.135 Amps
50 bulbs = 2.270 Amps
100 bulbs = 4.545 Amps
Mini lights 2.5v 300 bulbs = 1 Amp
Decide how much you can budget for your outdoor Xmas decorations and have fun with them. Start early so you don’t have to rush around and possibly make costly or dangerous mistakes. Then enjoy your Outdoor Animated Christmas Lights for as long as you can!
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