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where do you guys go to buy your lights wholesale? I have never done the lights before other than my own home but want to get into it this year. Someplace that has a catalog that I can show customers would be great! I have looked online but I dont know what "professional" grade and whats homeowner grade when it comes to x-mas lights. Thanks in advance, any and all help/info is appreaciated
 

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read through the posts here and you'll find several companies to buy from . I'm a Holiday Bright Lights guy, they are in Omaha, Nebraska. Mike marlow is their rep. they are online and I believe they have the best stuff at pretty good prices. good luck- :waving:
 

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I personally like to take actual lights out, not a catalog, it will give folks a real life look at your products. I also like to take out big box store lights to compare the difference. But HBL does have a nice catalog so does Creative Displays.

Wholesale price can also varry depending on your volume over the year. I personally buy direct from import companies, this skips the middle man, which means I can sell at wholesale.

As far as grade, you want to look at the wire gage.(i wont be much help for incandescent info) For LED the commercial grade lights are rectified and have coaxle connectors. They are water tight and won't pull apart. They are expensive, but will last for 20 years.
There are a bunch of different residential grade LEd sets, most of which are not very good. We carry two different brands, both which are rectified, one has sealed bulbs, the other you can make custom strands with by moving the bulbs around. We also have the sealed sets not retified for less money. All our sets have a three year warranty and are built with heavier wire.

HBL has sets out this year that are rectified, but I have not seen them, so I can't judge. They put the rectifier in a separate plug.
 

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Hotrod- how many seasons do you have in the field on the LED light sets that will last 20 years?

also, pm me on some prices, I'm interested in playing around with your commercial stuff.

I agree with Hotrod on bringing actual product to the home for bids. I also bring the catalog and my portfolio. HBL's noble garland and 4' flat wreat goes with me to every bid, along with 3 different light links. I've also got a 2 foot strand of my c-9 cord and walmart cord to show the difference in c-9's. I carry a clear, transparent color, and color ceramic c-9 bulbs to show the difference, as well so customers know what they are gettting.
 

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Two years on the LED stuff. But I like to force degrade my demo sets by torchering them year round. The bulbs will last longer than 20 seasons, but the components will wear out before then.

Funny thing, I just got an Action Lighting catalog in the mail today... It has lots of pictures, but it also has prices, so I'm not sure it would be a good field catalog.
 

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I currently buy from Village Lighting, but I really wish there were more options and really a place to just go pick them up near by.

I also need to stock up on wreaths and garland... I have not yet bought many LED's.... They have some nice marketing material available at Village..
 

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I'm not sure why i got an action lighting catalog.. Must have signed up for one at some point...

I havn't heard great things about Village Lighting as far as products. I'm also not a fan of other ompanies marketing material, not that it is bad, we can do just as well, and brand our company for the same money. (As far as mailers and flyers)

I dont know anyone in NC that you could hook up with to just go pick up things.
 

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Renting and selling both work well. You just need to have your system inplace for which ever way you are going to go. There are advantages and disadvantages to both/
We rent everything and it works well.

If you search you will find a bunch of marketing ideas for lights. It has been covered a bunch.
 

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We carry two different brands, both which are rectified, one has sealed bulbs, the other you can make custom strands with by moving the bulbs around. We also have the sealed sets not retified for less money. All our sets have a three year warranty and are built with heavier wire.
You mentioned that you carry. Meaning you sell them or you buy them and carry them in your inventory? I bought some LEDs from Holiday Light Source and I was disappointed in the look and brightness of the rectified bright white LEDs. I am not sure if it was because they were just not good from them or if that is just the way LEDs look.

I am interested in finding out who you purchase them from. I paid $17 for a set of 25 C7s in LED.
 

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I know that on SPT1 C7 wire I can put about 160 regular 5 watt C7 bulbs and hit about 7 amps. Which I think SPT1 wire is rated for. If I use the C7 retrofit bulbs, which only use about 1 watt, should I (theoretically) be able to run 5 times are many C7 retrofit bulbs in a single run?

160 incandescent bulbs x 5 watts = 800 watts total = about 7 amps
800 retrofit LED bulbs x 1 watt = 800 watts total = about 7 amps

Are my calculations right here or is there something I am missing?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Carlos
Holiday Light & Decor
 

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You are missing the fact that the wire will have internal resistance. So at some point, you are going to run out of juice. For 18 gage STP1 I think it is around 200 feet or so. Can't say I have any runs over 150 feet though.

I know that on SPT1 C7 wire I can put about 160 regular 5 watt C7 bulbs and hit about 7 amps. Which I think SPT1 wire is rated for. If I use the C7 retrofit bulbs, which only use about 1 watt, should I (theoretically) be able to run 5 times are many C7 retrofit bulbs in a single run?

160 incandescent bulbs x 5 watts = 800 watts total = about 7 amps
800 retrofit LED bulbs x 1 watt = 800 watts total = about 7 amps

Are my calculations right here or is there something I am missing?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Carlos
Holiday Light & Decor
 

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I think LED retrofits still have full brightness down to 90 volts. below that and they do not work at all. I have heard of guys going 400 feet, but I myself stop at 200. At that legth on my voltage tester with single LED c9 ceramic bulbs ( which I do not reccomend by the way) I measured 102 volts, or a drop of about 18 volts. you probably could go another 50-100 feet, but the newer 5 led bulbs do pull a bit more juice than the older single led's. So I think 200 feet, maybe 250 is about max. There is however, 16, 14, and 12 guage c-9 wire out there, and those should go 100-200 feet further.
 

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What is wrong with the ceramic LED? I am getting ready to order a case from HBL to sample for one of my customers who does not like any look but ceramic. We have 500 feet on her roof and would really like to not have to run it to 3 different power sources.
 

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This is the third year on the HBL LED ceramics for me on three properties. I have one that has about 500 bulbs on it, commercial building with all white ceramic , the other two are about 250 bulb residential jobs. The bulbs fail at a pretty strong rate. we replaced close to 75 bulbs on the 500 bulb job, and all were lit at takedown last year. not broken, but out. on the 250's, one is up this year and needed about 50. the other is not up until November.

Obviously replacing 15-20 percent of bulbs is insane, given I have 2, 9 year old clear c-9 glass old style jobs that have well over 1500 bulbs, range closer to 25-50 bulbs replaced at install this year, and most of those got broke while taking down or storing them. i just put up a 3000 plus bulb job with old style bulbs on it's second year, and we replaced 28 bulbs, most broken some "brighties", 3 burnout. 1-2 percent is normal for incandescant, for LED it should be 1/5 to 1/10 that. instead it is 8-10 TIMES that.

The ceramics are not waterproof like the plastic faceted ones are, so I believe that is the failure point. DUH. also, they only have a single LED, so you cannot see them during the day to change out bad ones, even if you cup your hands around them. you can only fix them at night. The white ones are also very dim, probably close to a comparison of 1/2 watt of normal incandescant power.
 

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Thanks David, I was hoping to get LESS burn out and did just assumed that the covers were plastic. I will now look at other options and research further. One diode is not enough. Especially at the cost of the bulb.

I need these lights to pass muster with this customer. She is very particular and if she approves then nobody else will have a problem.

Back to the drawing board. I will let you know what I find.
 

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Looks like we will be sticking with incandescent. I had them, but they are being discontinued from the vendor, so I wont be able to replace them down the road.

They have one that supposedly mimics the incandescent perfectly but it is not replaceable and the socket is more the size of a mini light with a c-9 on it so a roof clip wont hold. I'd also hate to have to replace a 25 string b/c one bulb went out.

I will keep looking but it doesnt look good.
 
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