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Rope Lights vs. String Lights- Which Should I Use for Christmas Decoration?

A holiday light display uses a combination of led string lights and led rope lights

When it’s time to start decking the halls with holiday lighting, nothing can dampen your spirits like spotty illumination or dead bulbs on your light display. To remedy the situation, you start looking for new lights to make your home merry and bright.

In the current lighting landscape, you can find plenty of options to suit your tastes and the effort level you want to put into decoration. Two types of lights festive homeowners use are rope lights and string lights. 

While each is unique, if you compare rope lights vs. string lights, does one come out on top regarding usability, energy efficiency or durability?

Rope Lights vs. String Lights - Where to use them?

You can use string lights and rope lights in similar ways when it comes to home illumination. However, there are some instances where one type of lighting may work better than the other.

Using String Lights for Outdoor Holiday Decoration

String lights are one of the most traditional Christmas decorations you can use. From the eaves of your home to wrapping trees and shrubbery, string lights are versatile and bring a classic Christmas look to your home.

String lights create a starry effect by spacing bulbs a few inches apart on the strand. The suspended bulbs produce little orbs of light to line your home.

String lights are multi-faceted. You can use them to line any part of your home, including eaves, fences, driveways, etc. They’re great for wrapping foliage. Plus, they can form shapes and words if attached to a guiding post or stencil. 

Decorating with Rope Lighting Outdoors

Rope lights illuminate in a way that makes them appear like one singular beam of light rather than a collection of smaller bulbs. The plastic tubing reflects the light more evenly across the surface of the light fixture. 

When decorating with rope lighting outdoors, these glowing strands can be used in many of the same places as string lights, but excel at: 

Rope Lights vs. String Lights: Which Is More Efficient?

There is no definitive winner in the efficiency category. It’s imperative to check the total wattage of lighting products when you’re looking to make a purchase. 

It’s important to remember that LEDs will always use less energy than their incandescent counterparts. 

Other energy efficiency factors you should consider include:

  • The size of the bulb 
  • Length of the strands 
  • Number of strands 
  • ENERGY STAR® Rating
  • Power source

Rope Lights vs. String Lights: Which Is More Durable?

Both types of lights come in varieties that are rated for outdoor use. Many outdoor string lights now come in varieties designed to resist moisture and corrosion. 

On the durability side, we have to give it to rope lights since they are housed in a plastic tube, which protects the bulbs from direct contact with the elements. However, the LED versions of both types of lights are more durable than their incandescent counterparts.

Ways You Can Take Control & Save on Your Holiday Lighting!

Whether you choose rope lights, string lights or some of both to illuminate your home this holiday, you can take control of your energy usage and lower your spending with a few essential steps:

  • Choose LEDs. LED bulbs are significantly cheaper to run for the holiday season and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent lights. For an exact comparison between types of lights, check out our lighting calculator to see how much you can save.
  • Utilize timers for consistent shutoff. Timers are cheap but can be highly effective in managing your power usage. Plug your lights into an outdoor timer, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally leaving them on or getting back out in the cold to shut them off.
  • Take advantage of smart home technology. Smart home technology, like a smart plugin, can help you manage your lights while you are away from home with your phone or computer. You can also use virtual assistants with connected devices to power down your holiday lights.

Stay jolly this season and spend less by making energy-conscious decisions on your holiday lights. For more energy-saving ideas, browse our blog

Want to get in contact with your local electric cooperative? Visit the contact page today to find your co-op to start a conversation today.

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