Switching over to commercial lights

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by umpire, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. umpire

    umpire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    I am planning to do some huge houses this year and would like to do them in commercial lights. Havent ever used commercial lights but would like to give them a try! Was wondering if they are difficult to learn how to cut them or put them on a house compared to the box lights. Should I attend a class before I attempt to use them or is it pretty self explanitory? Maybe have a electricion show me how to install them first? Thanks
  2. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    by commercial lights I am assuming you mean buying the 1000 foot spools, cutting to fit and setting plugs. There are rules you have to follow based on the amp rating of the cord you wish to use. basically spt2 18 guage cord or 16 guage cord is rated at 10 amps. spt1, the most common, is 7 amps, and there is also 14 and 12 guage twisted wire out there with ceramic sockets in 250 foot spools that are rated 12 amps and 15 amps. There is candelabra, intermediate and medium base sockets to choose from. we use intermediate and c-9 bulbs, but also throw in color g50 bulbs from time to time. I've also used intermediate base s-11's when I have a bright parking lot and need greater wattage than what a c-9 will give me. they last longer than the brighter 10 watt c-9's. Twinklers every 6 or 7 bulbs also kind of lowers your overall amp load and give you a few extra feet of length. The main thing is not to overamp your cord because that can burn a house down. with wal-mart and big box store lights, the fuse will blow and save you before the wire burns into the shingles.

    I've also heard that folks in colder climates can get away with higher amp loads since the cold air cools the wire, but I don't buy that.

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