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Why LED Lights

Updated: May 11, 2021

What are LED’s (Light Emitting Diodes)

Unlike traditional Christmas lights that use a filament to produce illumination, commercial grade LED Christmas lights are constructed from tiny solid-state chips (diodes) similar to those used in computers to product light.

Semiconductor diodes are used in LEDs which directly converts electricity into light. The effect is called “electroluminescence”.

The LED emits a light when the diode is switched on and the electrons combine with energy. When this happens, it releases light. The colors of LEDs are dependent on the energy gap within the semiconductor. LED Christmas lights are usually very small, usually less than a millimeter. Because LEDs don’t use filaments, they last much longer than traditional light bulbs and are not limited to needing a vacuum environment, as within a traditional light bulb. Instead, the chips are encapsulated in solid plastic that can be made into a variety of shapes and sizes.

Most premium and commercial grade LED Christmas lights have molded bulbs and sockets that are permanently attached to one another. This keeps the electronics of the bulbs itself from corrosion.

LED Christmas lights are amazingly energy efficient, far exceeding the efficiency of florescent and incandescent lighting.

LED Light Features & Benefits

  • LED Christmas lights are long lasting and virtually maintenance free. Up to 7 times longer! Longevity – rated for up to 200,000 hours of use

  • LED’s are energy efficient using only 10% of the electricity required to power traditional incandescent light sets

  • In retrospect, LED’s lights use 90% less electricity than incandescent lights which is GOOD NEWS…now you have the ability to plug large numbers of strands end-to-end using only one outlet!

  • Because LED’s use less electricity they are much cooler to the touch than conventional lights making them safer to use either indoors or out

  • Vibrant Color

  • No glass bulbs to break.

Full Wave Rectified vs. Half Wave Rectified

Rectifiers control the amount and type of power flowing to your LED bulbs. Half wave is a cheaper way of getting power, and it seems like the industry is moving away from this type of construction. These sets have a slight flicker, some people are more sensitive to this than others, and usually these bulbs aren’t as bright as Full Wave (full wave rectified). Half Wave (half wave rectified) do have the advantage of a slightly lower cost.

Half Wave

Rectified or (half wave) LED string light sets flicker or turn on and off at the rate of 60 times per second (AC-Alternating Current). Although this is very fast it is still detectable by the human eye. Thus, most people can detect a faint flickering in non-rectified sets of LED string lights. The flickering or strobing effect is especially pronounced when the lights or the person viewing the lights is in motion. This is the most common complaint from consumers about LED Christmas lights. Non-rectified light sets are generally of lower quality than the rectified sets and can be found in most box stores.

Full Wave

Full Wave sets are a superior style of light sets. The LEDs get more consistent and constant power than they would in a half wave set. This means they don’t flicker as much and can better handle use on light controllers, such as faders. Typically Full Wave sets are brighter as well.

Fully rectified or (full wave) LED string light sets produce a steady flow of light without the flicker or strobing effect. In contrast, rectified or “full wave” LED lights use a device known as a rectifier which essentially converts alternating current to DC (direct current). The result of the rectification is LED Christmas lights that are substantially brighter and has no visible “flicker.” Our LED Christmas lights use fully rectified technology to ensure steady shine and true color. Rectified sets allow you to connect to any control box to fade in or out and/or set your choice random twinkling. Fully rectified sets are generally used for commercial application and can be found through commercial wholesale Christmas suppliers or high-end garden centers.

Why Non-replaceable bulbs

LEDs are polarity specific. If a bulb is removed and then turned around and reinserted, it will not work. If several bulbs have fallen out of the socket over time then it is almost impossible to determine which one is in backwards. In these cases, often the entire set will not light.


Rust issues make the best case for a non-replaceable LED because the leads of the LED and the copper wire of the cord are different materials, they are susceptible to rust. If any moisture is introduced into the environment of the bulb either in the form of condensation or actual water, it begins to rust. The rusting process is very fast. In these cases, the bulb will rust and literally fall out of the socket within only a few months.


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