Happy autumn, everyone! As the leaves fall, our excitement rises because we’re getting closer to our beloved holiday season. Have you started planning your decorations yet? Fresh from our visit to the Calgary Fall Home Show, we’re here to share the latest trends in the world of festive decorations, and this time, we’re talking about something that’s both low-maintenance and high in joy: permanent Christmas lights!
Exploring Calgary’s Permanent Christmas Lights:
Calgary is a bustling market, and from what we’ve seen at the home show, there’s a host of permanent Christmas lighting brands available in Calgary, including but not limited to Watt Lights, Trimlight, Glowstone Light, Lumenox, Pixel Lights, and more. As your trusted local lighting expert, it’s our mission to help you find the perfect fit for your home. Imagine having lights ready not just for Christmas but also for Thanksgiving, Halloween, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and beyond!
People Behind the Sparkles:
Before we dive into the wide array of options, we must first remember a crucial thing, that lights won’t automatically jump onto your roof. It is equally important to consider the ‘who’ behind the scenes: Installation is a pivotal part of the equation—the people responsible for installing the permanent lights for you.
As the lights become a permanent fixture on your house, it is imperative to find a team with the necessary expertise, experience, integrity, and certification to work on your property, whether under mild or harsh weather conditions and at considerable heights. Having someone with less experience and lacking certification wobbling on a tall ladder and poking a hole in your roofline is the last thing you’d want to encounter during the process of setting up something meant to bring pure joy.
This is where we’d like to introduce Five Star Holiday Decor. They are the only provider with over a decade of experience in Alberta’s decorative lighting industry. All of their teams are experienced, skillfully trained, insured, bonded, and certified to work at heights even in the harshest winters. Their unique understanding of the art of making properties sparkle for the holiday season like no others. When you choose Five Star, you’re not only getting the best permanent lighting products or securing the services of the most qualified and dedicated team in the business, you’re inviting a team that treats your home as if it were their own, ensuring your holidays are filled with warmth and brilliance.
Our Current Favorite: Celebright:
We must confess that Celebright is our top choice among permanent Christmas light brands in Calgary. You can delve deeper into this preference in our previous blog, where we compared Gemstone Lights vs. Celebright permanent lighting. Celebright outshone Gemstone Lights in every aspect of the comparison. But with the introduction of several new brands, it’s time for us to reevaluate.
Setting the Homeowner Standard:
Let’s begin by defining our homeowner standards. Here in Calgary, we want our permanent lights to be exceptionally bright while remaining energy-efficient. They must withstand the harshest weather conditions – we’re talking about the cold in the winter and the rain in the summer. We’re looking for Christmas lights that are truly “permanent” to eliminate the hassle of hanging them up, taking them down, and fixing them by ourselves. And, for the ultimate convenience, we want easy control over our lighting.
Long story short, please refer to the table below for a swift result from the comprehensive analysis:
Watt Lights stands out with its exceptional durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions. They boast CSA certification and an IP68 rating for water resistance. Notably, Watts Lights can endure temperatures as low as -50°C, which is lower than Gemstone and Celebright. With a 5-year warranty, you can rest easy.
The downside? Watts Lights are slightly less energy-efficient, drawing 0.72 watts compared to Celebright’s 0.1 watts and even Gemstone’s 0.7 watts. And unfortunately, you can’t schedule them to turn on and off, but they do offer flexibility in changing colors, patterns, and brightness.
Opinion: Choose Watts Lights if you’re in an extremely cold area with affordable electricity, and you don’t require scheduled lighting.
Glowstone Lights takes the crown when it comes to extreme cold resistance, with the ability to withstand temperatures as low as -55°C. That’s a great option for our friends in the coldest regions. Their permanent lights also offer a 50,000-hour lifespan and carry an IP68 rating for water resistance.
On the downside, residential-grade Glowstone lights come with a 3-year warranty only and consume 0.72 watts of energy. Additionally, their system lacks smart integration like Celebright’s.
Opinion: Opt for Glowstone if you live in extremely cold areas with affordable electricity and are comfortable with a slightly shorter warranty.
Trimlight, often confused as “trim lights”, offers the assurance of a lifetime product warranty. Finding a Trimlight dealer in Calgary means minimal worries. The dazzling feature here is the ability to display up to 30 colors at once for your trim lights, perfect for those seeking a dramatic effect.
However, a potential drawback is that if one bulb fails due to certain components, others may follow and also go out. On the plus side, Trimlight is more energy-efficient at 0.6 watts, compared to other permanent Christmas lights except for Celebright. It offers the ability to schedule lights, change patterns, and colors, but it lacks smart integration. Safety ratings and temperature range information are currently unavailable.
Opinion: Go for it if you’re aiming for the most dazzling effect, but be sure to check their safety rating (water resistance, fire protection, temperature, etc.) and certification before making your decision.
Newer Brands: Honeone, Pixel Lights, Lumenox, and CANStar
Now, let’s delve into the “newer” faces in the Calgary permanent lights industry. As these are emerging brands, detailed information may not be readily available online, but I’ll provide insights based on what we know.
Honeone and Pixel Lights:
Pixel Lights offer a hands-on DIY decorating experience, where you’re the decorator, putting them up yourself. Their lights boast an IP67 rating, indicating reasonable water resistance. However, one challenge is that they don’t specify the wattage of their lights.
To fill in the gaps, let’s perform a quick calculation. Pixel Lights use a 24-volt permanent lighting strand. According to Google, 24-volt LED light strands consume 3.75 amps, resulting in a total of 90 watts for a strip. For instance, if we consider a typical house trim length of 600 inches and Pixel Lights spaced 9 inches apart, we calculate 600/9, which equals 133 bulbs. Therefore, the energy consumption per bulb is approximately 0.67 watts, which appears reasonable when compared to other brands, except for Celebright and Trimlight. They do offer the exchange of damaged LED lights if it is under their warranty, which is 3 years. After that, you are on your own.
In the case of Homeone, they provide relatively limited information. What we do know is that they feature “big bulbs” and are “CA & USA Certified”. When considering Homeone, pay attention to energy consumption and be sure to double-check their certifications and weather resistance.
Lumenox and CANStar:
Lumenox and CANStar fall into the category of brands that haven’t disclosed much information about their products. CANStar offers a diverse range of lighting options beyond trim lights. Their inventory includes under-mount lights, TV backlighting, patio lighting, and add-on tree lights. While specific details about temperature resistance and waterproof durability are currently undisclosed, we anticipate that this information will become available in the future.
Lumenox offers a slightly brighter outlook, providing a 5-year warranty and the ability to schedule the lights. Moreover, they demonstrate better energy efficiency. To illustrate, based on calculations for a 600-inch roofline in a 2-story home, their lights consume 60 watts, which translates to approximately 0.6 watts per bulb. However, do double-check with Lumenox if you are interested.
Light Spacing: Tailoring to Personal Preference
The spacing is a matter of personal preference. Some individuals prefer a more compact look, which can be achieved by choosing brands with narrower spacing. On the other hand, those who want a more dispersed and subtle lighting effect can opt for brands with wider spacing.
It’s important to note that the spacing can impact the overall appearance of your permanent holiday lighting, so consider your desired look when making your selection. Unfortunately, information about the spacing for Homeone, Glowstone, and Watt Light couldn’t be found online, so be sure to inquire with the respective manufacturers or dealers for their specific spacing options. And do keep in mind that energy consumption will increase with more compact spacing as there are more lights (obviously).
In our quest for the perfect permanent Christmas light in Calgary, we’ve explored an array of options, from industry giants to newer brands breaking onto the scene. Yet, our preference for Celebright remains unwavering, backed by its exceptional performance in multiple aspects. However, we believe in the power of choice, and we’re eager to hear your thoughts. Which brand do you lean towards for your permanent Christmas lights? Share your insights, preferences, and experiences in the comments below!