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2013 Holiday Lighting Trends
C9 String Lights: The Old Standby
As with every year, the most popular holiday lights for 2013 will continue to be C9 bulbs. The primary reason why these lights are so popular year after year is because of their versatility. The classic design of C9 lights makes them useful for just about any holiday lighting scheme. They can be arranged in straight lines to serve as edging, they can be laid out in patterns or they can be used to cover a wire frame for three-dimensional displays.
C9 lights are available in the widest variety of colors, including white, green, red and blue, and they can be purchased in multi-colored strings. However, they are also available in several different textures. Traditionally, C9 bulbs have been rounded and smooth, similar to standard light bulbs, but today, the most popular version has a multifaceted texture that makes the lights glimmer and sparkle in the same fashion as well-cut gemstones.
Another trend in C9 lighting is the conversion from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs (90% more energy efficient than traditional incandescents). Incandescent bulbs are more fragile, burn out more quickly and cost more to illuminate than LED bulbs. However, LED lights are more expensive to manufacture and have a higher upfront cost (though the energy savings over the long haul is well worth it).
LED Icicles & Snowflakes
While nothing can top the popularity of C9 lights, Christmas lighting companies have told us that their increase in early sales are pointing to two popular designs this year: snowflakes and icicles.
Recent improvements in LED technology have brought us icicle snowfall lights. These lights tend to be brighter than their incandescent string light counterpart and look totally different as they've been engineered with an animated effect that conveys snow falling. The ones pictured above typically range from 5" to 9" long each. The C9 versions of the LED icicle lights are more tubular and range from 12" to 24" (great for commercial jobs).
Just a few short years ago, folks had to search high and low to find snowflake lights in the colors and sizes they needed, but this year, holiday light manufacturers have anticipated the trend, and snowflake lights will be available in a wide assortment of colors, sizes and designs. In fact, some decorators are abandoning string lights altogether for their Christmas trees and are, instead, planning to use dozens of small snowflake lights. Mixing and matching assorted snowflakes can create an unusual but visually appealing display.
More Shapes, Sizes and Colors
Beyond snowflakes, we've seen an increased display of Christmas light balls hung from trees and awnings. These colorful spheres of brilliance typically range from 6 to 12 inches in diameter and come in a variety of colors from clear, green, red and multi-colors.
The most popular Christmas light colors in 2013? We're betting that white and gold holiday lights will be the most popular across the United States, especially for residential displays. While white and gold are expected to remain popular for residential homes this year, you can still expect to see a variety of colors. Instead of multi-colored strings of lights, the festive type want traditional holiday-themed colors, such as red, white and green. Red and green displays in the shape of poinsettia blossoms are not only attractive but are expected to sell well for the 2013 holiday season.
Battery Operated Holiday Lights
Although most holiday lighting is set up in a semi-permanent display fixed by the availability of electricity, a trend toward portable, battery-operated lighting is emerging this year. Battery operated displays and light strings have been available for quite some time, but the popularity and falling cost of LED lighting is making battery-operated lights more attractive than in previous years. These battery operated lights can be found in many shapes and sizes including 5mm LEDs as well as integrated into pre-lit wreaths and garland. Expect to see a variety of portable lights at stores for the 2013 holiday season, and expect them to sell out very quickly.
Classic or Clark Griswald?
With the economy still struggling, expect to see classic and simple themes and designs continue to be popular. However, some clients are asking for specialty themes, such as winter wonderlands, candy canes, Santa’s workshop and character themes. With the advent of Pinterest and social media, holiday lighting DIY ideas will be evident now more than ever, so expect to see fellow holiday lighting installers and your DIY festive friends tap into their creative side this year.