The Takeaway: My family has always used incandescent white lights on our Christmas tree. But a few years ago, around the same time I started testing Christmas lights in my role as a test editor for Popular Mechanics, my son made the mutinous demand for colored lights. And worse yet, blinking colored lights! These unassuming Brizled Christmas Lights became a solution to both traditional Christmas light issues and my family’s competing preferences. Three years on, the LEDs are still working great, and I couldn’t be happier with them.
- Lighting modes for every taste
- Built-in timer
- Four-step dimmer
Incandescent vs. LED Lights
For as long as I can remember, my family had all white Christmas tree lights. You know the type—the mini-incandescent bulbs, with two fine wires sticking out the bottom. The ones where only 50 percent of the strand lights up when you first plug them in. The ones that can add half an hour to your Christmas tree decorating, with the eyes of your family on you, anxiously waiting to get started. We put up with this year after year, in part, I believe, because we only deal with it once every 12 months and we don’t remember the hassle until we pull the box out of the attic.
LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights can last more than 40 times as long as incandescent bulbs—in part because they don’t use a fragile filament to provide light. The diode in an LED is completely encased in its epoxy lens, which both protects it and magnifies the light. LEDs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, requiring less power to produce similar amounts of light, which also means they produce less heat. For these reasons, they’re both safer and less expensive to operate than traditional lights.
Lights For Every Taste
These LED Brizled Christmas Lights have a little something for just about everyone. The set features 11 color/blinking modes, as well as a four-step dimmer, a timer, and a remote control. The modes include steady on for both warm white and multi-colors, blinking for both, and several versions of blinking, fading, fading between colors, and varied blinking timing intervals. The warm white was a pleasant color and suited my tastes perfectly, not leaning too much toward yellow. My son prefers the colored options, leaning toward unsettled variable timed blinking. A compromise we often settle on is a fade mode that takes a few seconds to transition from white to multi-colored and then back again.
The 66-foot string of lights has 200 LEDs, and we’ve been able to use the one strand on trees from 5 to 7 feet tall. Longer strands are available with 300 or 1,000 LEDs each. The wire strand on the set we’ve been using is silver, so it’s a little obvious in daylight. But the set also comes with a black wire, which is less visible. The built-in timer will run the lights for six hours on then 18 off. While you can use these lights outdoors, keep in mind that the plug and transformer/control box need to be protected from water.
These Brizled Christmas Lights were one of the more pleasant surprises to come out of my product testing—a surprise that has made its way into my family’s Christmas tradition. Thankfully so. I don’t miss those old lights one darn bit.