Frequently Asked Questions

  • +How do I debug my LED lighting system?
    This video reviews 7 principles you'll find helpful in fixing your LED lighting system:
    • Principle #1: Safety first.
    • Principle #2: Read the instructions.
    • Principle #3: Achieve success in stages.
    • Principle #4: Don’t assume. Please remember what you know and what you don’t know.
    • Principle #5: Know your tools.
    • Principle #6: Substitute components.
    • Principle #7: Respect voltage drop.
    If you heed the advice in this video, you are likely to solve the most likely problems in getting your LED system working. If you still can't get a system you bought from us working, please give us a call!
  • +What is the branch limit of your LED strip light? Can I connect more than 1 reel end-to-end?

    The branch limit of our LED strip light is usually one reel, so no, you can't generally connect more than one reel end-to-end. We created a 4-part video series that covers proper LED linear lighting electrical design technique.

  • +Why do I need an LED Driver or Power Supply?

    Each LED requires about 4 Volts Direct Current. If you put 3 in series, you need 12 VDC, and if you put 6 in series, you need 24 VDC. None of those voltages is available from any utility. Therefore, somewhere between the plug on your wall and the LED, the voltage needs to be stepped down from 120 or 240 VAC to a lower voltage, and rectified (made Direct Current, instead of Alternating Current.)

    An LED driver does that. It changes 120 VAC (or, depending on the driver, a range of voltages from 100 to 347 VAC) to 5, 12 or 24 VDC, depending on the lights you choose. Sometimes the driver is integrated into the luminaire and you can’t see it. Other times, it is discrete, separate from the lights, and typically looks like a metal or plastic box or adapter.

    We sell a large variety of LED drivers, including waterproof, non-waterproof, dimming drivers, drivers that accept 12 VAC landscape lighting voltage, and converters.

    A converter changes one DC voltage into another and cleans it up to protect your lighting. You should use a converter to power unprotected LED lighting powered by solar or vehicular power that has voltage that may fluctuate too much for the lighting.

  • +How do I solder LED strip light?
    Please watch the video on the subject:
  • +What types of connectors do you offer for LED strip light?
    Please watch the video on the subject:
  • +How do I waterproof my LED strip light connectors?
    Please watch the video on the subject:
  • +What is DMX?

    Please watch the video on the subject:

  • +What are waterproofing ratings or IP codes?

    IP codes describe the degrees of protection provided by the enclosures of electrical equipment. Some of our lighting products have IP ratings to enable you to determine where you can use them. Learn more.

  • +How are LED Christmas lights better than incandescent ones, and what types of LED Christmas lights does EnvironmentalLights offer?

    Please watch the video on the subject:

  • +Are your Christmas light strings lead-free?

    Generally, yes. Some manufacturers use lead as a stabilizer in the wire. We don’t sell those products; however, we have had many questions on the subject and you should bear in mind the following:

    RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) is a standard for maximum content of lead and other substances. The only substance that is typically relevant to Christmas lights is lead. RoHS is a “self-certified” mark. There is no agency that issues a RoHS number or certificate. If the manufacturer says a product complies with RoHS, you are relying on their representation.

    “Lead-free” means literally “not one atom of lead.” Lead is a common element that is found in low concentrations in many places, such as in dust, trucks, airplanes and so forth. When we say “lead-free” we mean that there is virtually no lead in the strings. When Christmas lights are made, they either have fairly high concentrations of lead or virtually no lead. There is, to our knowledge, nothing in between. If your shipment of RoHS strings picked up a few atoms of lead in the FedEx truck, we can’t help it and you shouldn’t worry about it.

    Some of our lights are marked RoHS and some aren’t, but we believe they were all made without lead. The reason some are not marked RoHS is because they were made before we realized some people cared a lot about lead. Marking the packaging or tagging the strings in all our warehouses is cost prohibitive.

    Some of our lights have California Prop 65 warning tags on them that state that the strings may contain chemicals known by the state of California to cause cancer or other bad things. We have always taken the position that, given what the strings actually contain, there is no requirement to provide the Prop 65 warning, and that it needlessly worries consumers and confuses them. Some manufacturers may continue to apply the Prop 65 labels anyway due to an abundance of caution. The strings don’t need Prop 65 warnings and they were not made with lead.

    EnvironmentalLights.com has pioneered the lead-free Christmas lights movement. We responded to the demands of safety-conscious consumers. We will not accept returns of Christmas lights merely because they have a Prop 65 label or don’t have a RoHS label. If we say a product is RoHS on our web site, it will have a RoHS logo on the product page and it should have been marked RoHS at the factory. If we don’t say a Christmas light product is RoHS, it is probably not labeled RoHS, but it should be lead-free anyway.

  • +Are your Christmas lights safe for children and pets?

    No. Children and pets should never be allowed to play with or chew on electrical devices employing potentially lethal electrical voltage of 120 volts. They could easily be electrocuted. These are not toys.

  • +How many feet of string does my tree require?

    Decorating Christmas trees is an art, not a science. There is no single correct answer to this question. This is how many feet of LED Christmas lights we recommend for a given height of tree. Remember, your tree will look very nice if you use half as many lights as this. It will look even nicer if you use twice as much as the numbers below.

    tree string
    height length
    (feet) (feet)
    4 60
    5 80
    6 110
    7 130
    8 160
    9 200
    10 225
    15 410
    20 640
    30 1,200
    40 1,800
    60 3,300

    Please watch our video on the subject:

  • +Can I use LED Christmas lights year-round?

    The warranty is voided if you leave up more than 90 days; however, people use them for year-round decoration anyway. Here’s the logic for 90 days: trees are living things that grow and get blown around. Some people think they can just put the strings up and forget them for a long time, but that is unrealistic. At some point, they get pulled apart or damaged. Also, when used outdoors or near a window, the sun’s UV rays will eat the plastic insulation on the strings’ wires, just like any non-LED string, particularly in summer. So you can use them for year-round installations, but they are not warranted for such use. We recommend you check the general condition of your installation every 90 days. Just put it on your calendar. Also the UL588 standard mandates that manufacturers stipulate 90 days maximum installation, so it's really out of our hands.

  • +Should I buy pure white or warm white Christmas lights?

    Please watch the video on the subject:

  • +Do you offer longer Christmas light strings?

    No. What you see on our web site is what you can get.

    Our pro installers are now requesting shorter and more manageable string sizes to customize lengths for their clients’ homes, businesses, city centers, and wide variety of other applications.

    In the old days, Underwriters Laboratories stipulated that one should not link more than 3 incandescent strings end-to-end. This is because incandescent strings use so much power that the wire couldn’t handle any higher current safely. With LED strings, the power consumption is over 90% LESS, so the UL-588 standard was changed to allow up to 216 watts of LED strings, which is a) a lot more than 3 strings, and b) doesn’t favor the longer strings anymore because the standard recognizes the lower amperage of LED strings.

    Most of our strings are linkable, so just connect as many as you need to get the length you need, up to the limit on the specification tab for the product, which stipulates “Linkable up to XXX strings.”

  • +Does anyone make Christmas lights in America?

    No. To our knowledge, there has not been a production run of Christmas lights made in America in many years. Making Christmas lights involves a lot of low-skilled labor. There is no magic machine to make them. We actually visit the plants where our products are made to ensure they treat their workers well. One thing to remember is that everyone working at EnvironmentalLights.com is American, so when you buy from us, you are "buying American," and you're supporting the families of people right here in America, making attractive wages and benefits. And if you ever find an LED Christmas light string line made in America, please let us know where it's made and we will take an earnest look at adding it to our lineup for the next season. We buy American whenever we can. It's our favorite country!

  • +Will EnvironmentalLights be offering more of the 8XXX or 9XXX 2-channel LED Christmas light strings?

    No, we will not carry the 2 channel line anymore. We recommend our wonderful Versaline 3-channel chasing series, which replace the 8XXX and 9XXX, because they are superior.

    If you look at the Features tab for a given 8XXX or 9XXX string, we tell you approximately how many we have left and that is all we have or will have.

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