Hung Up on Hanging Holiday Lights? Head to Your Hardware Supply Store For Help

Christmas lights on nice home

You’ve been putting it off for too long. Thanksgiving is over. Black Friday is over. Every house on your block is lit up, yet yours sits in the dark.

You want your house to look festive, but you’re also wondering how to do that without blowing fuses or tripping your circuit breaker.

To which we say: Don’t worry. With proper planning, a little research and a trip to your hardware supply store, you can have the brightest house on the block.

Getting started

An affluent home with a nice display of decorations.Have a plan for where you want to hang your lights. Pick a focal point. It could be along your eaves or roofline, on top of bushes, trees and hedges, around your porch railing, or framing your windows, doorframes and planters (or some combination of any of these).

Make sure you measure any spaces where you want to hang lights to tell you how many strands you need, while also measuring the distance to your power source. You’ll want to be sure you can actually plug the lights in.

From there, considering the following:

  • Man hanging holiday lights on a ladder using light clipsYour safety needs – Head to your hardware supply store to find a reliable ladder, extension cords with a UL-rating and lights approved for indoor and outdoor use. Make sure none of your cords or wires are torn.
  • Your light color – Even white lights aren’t precisely white. Classic incandescent bulbs have an orangish hue, while LED lights can appear sort of blue. If they’re hung side by side, they’ll seem mismatched. Avoid this problem by investing in new lights.
  • LED or incandescent – LED lights will help you cut down on your electric bill, and you won’t need to worry about them overheating.
  • Hanging the lights – This year, invest in light clips. It’s easier than struggling with staples or relying on clothespins to hold the lights in place.

Hanging the lights

Testing christmas light string before hanging

The first thing you should do is decide where you’ll be working and gather all the supplies you need. It will help to work with someone else, especially if you’ll be climbing a ladder.

Test your lights before you hang them by plugging them in. The last thing you need is to discover you have a burned out bulb or a non-working strand after you’ve hung your lights. Even if you’ve just brought them home from your hardware supply store, test the lights.

You may also want to invest in an outdoor timer that will automatically turn your lights on and off. That way you won’t wake up at 7 a.m. to find the lights still glowing or go to bed realizing that you never switched them on.

How will my lights affect my electric bill?

People joke about Christmas lights being visible from space, but according to NASA, it’s no joke. In 2014, the space agency reported that nighttime lights shine 20 to 50 percent brighter around many American cities during Christmas and New Year’s.

C9 christmas light bulbsHow does all that light impact the average residential electric bill? The Washington Post’s Wonkblog did the math last year on the rough cost of running different types of lights. They assumed a price of 12 cents per kilowatt hour, with the lights illuminated 12 hours a day for 45 days:

  • A straight of 25 C9 incandescent bulbs — $15.12
  • A string of 100 mini incandescent bulbs — $3.53
  • A string of 25 C9 LED bulbs – 21 cents
  • A string of 100 mini LED bulbs – 41 cents

How many lights can my house handle?

The number of holiday lights you can plug into one circuit depends on a few different factors:

  • The amperage of the circuit (most homes have 15 or 20 amp circuits)
  • The types of lights you’ll be using
  • Whether you have anything else running off that circuit such as appliances or indoor lights

String of multicolor Christmas lights with green wiring.To figure out the number of lights a circuit can handle, you’ll need to do some math, figuring out how many watts the circuit can take.

The equation works like this: volts X amps = watts.

Like we said, most homes are 15 or 20 amps, while household outlets are 120 volts. Therefore, a 20-amp circuit could handle 2,400 watts at most. Err on the side of safety and only load your circuits to about 80 percent of their capacity.

Do you still have questions about which lights will work best for your home? Turn to Yardville Supply, where you’ll find an array of holiday décor, extension cords and other hardware supply equipment to help your home look its best – and brightest – this season.

Stock Up on Winter Supplies: Calcium Chloride Ice Melt Products, Road Salt and More

Snow covered road.

Winter is almost upon us. Nighttime temperatures are in the 30s. There’s frost greeting us on our windshields in the morning. Any day now, the first snow will begin to fall.

And if there’s one thing we know about winter, it’s that the only thing worse than dealing with a snowstorm is being caught unprepared for a snowstorm.

Continue reading Stock Up on Winter Supplies: Calcium Chloride Ice Melt Products, Road Salt and More

Fall Lawn Care and Landscaping Supply Checklist

Raking Leaves

 

If you’ve spent all spring and summer worrying over your landscaping, it might seem like the fall presents a chance to take a break from your yard work. If that’s the case, we have some good news and some bad news.

The bad news is that you’re not off the hook. Fall’s arrival brings new responsibilities for your lawn and landscaping. The good news is tackling these jobs now will let you continue to enjoy your yard this autumn and ensure a healthy lawn this spring.

Here are seven things you should do help your landscaping and lawn look their best this season.

Continue reading Fall Lawn Care and Landscaping Supply Checklist

Backyard Fire Pits – Wood Vs. Gas

Father and son by firepit in autumn

It’s early autumn. You’re home from work, the kids are home from school. The trees have turned red and gold, the wind carries a bite.

It would be the perfect night to enjoy your backyard…if only you had a fire pit to keep you warm.

If you’ve been dreaming of this scenario, you’re not alone. Over the past few years, the American Society of Landscape’s Architects’ yearly survey has consistently shown that backyard fire pits are the top trend in outdoor living design.

But like with any landscaping project, you’re likely to have some questions. What would it take to install a fire pit? Are there safety concerns? Would a gas-fired fire pit work better or is wood the better option?

Read on the find out the basics of backyard fire pits, and the pros and cons of wood and gas.

Fire extinguisherGetting started

Before you decide on a fire pit for your backyard, consult your local building codes. These might regulate issues such as:

  • The size of the fire pit
  • Where you can place it in relation to your home or other structures
  • Whether you’ll need to have a fire extinguisher nearby

You should also check with your insurance agent, as installing a fire pit might affect your rates. Find out if you’ll need to increase coverage

Safety concerns

Safety needs to be at top of mind when installing backyard fire pits. Before you begin installation, consider these safety tips:

  • Build on an even surface, which can prevent fire from escaping the confines of the pit
  • Build the pit at least 10 feet from your home, fences, trees, etc. Again, your local building code may have a specific distance requirement.
  • Don’t use gasoline or lighter fluid to light wood, as this can cause the fire to burn out of control quickly. Use dry wood for kindling to get started.
  • Never leave a fire unattended. Keep an eye on children and pets and make sure all guest stay a safe distance away from the pit.
  • Don’t use the fire pit on windy days, as flames or even embers can blow into trees or into/onto your home.
  • Have a fire extinguisher, sand bucket or garden hose close by in case a fire gets out of hand. Call 911 If you can’t douse the flames quickly.

Wood vs. gas

The choice between gas and wood backyard fire pits comes down to two factors: convenience vs. the overall feel of your fire pit.

And gas is nothing if not convenient. You can turn it on and off with the touch of a button, and you’ll never have to deal with chopping wood, cleaning up ash or smelling like smoke.

Cambridge wood burning firepitBut keep in mind these drawbacks:

  • Gas costs more than wood
  • You’ll need to either hook up a propane tank or run a gas line to your backyard
  • Gas gives off less heat and is tougher to cook with

Wood, on the other hand, is excellent for cooking. It burns hotter than gas, is cheaper to install and gives off the rustic sound of crackling logs.

But like gas, it also has some disadvantages:

  • You’ll need to chop and store wood
  • Lighting a wood fire takes longer
  • Cleaning up ash can be a hassle, and you’ll smell like smoke

Whether you’re a fan of wood or gas fire pits, Yardville Supply has something that can take your yard to a new level, all while sticking to your budget.

Cambridge fire tableWe carry backyard firepits from brands such as Belgard and Cambridge, including Cambridge’s new gas burning fire tables, made from Cambridge Olde English Wallstones and designed to let you, your friends and your family enjoy the feel of an idyllic resort in the warmth and comfort of your yard.

Cambridge also offers the option of adding glass fire beads to their fire tables. These specially designed, oval-shaped linear beads reflect light and sparkle when the flame is lit, with their unique shape allowing flames to create dancing, liquid-like display.

Contact Yardville Supply today to learn more about how a gas or wood-burning fire pit can transform your backyard.

Avoid the Zoning Fight: The Benefits of Permeable Backyard Pavers

Belgard_Driveway_AquaBric_ Permeable_Pavers
Aqua Roc™ permeable pavers by Belgard

If you spend enough time around your local zoning board, there’s a phrase you’ll hear again and again: pervious pavement.

Also known as “permeable” pavement, this material has become quite popular in the world of municipal planning and housing developments, particularly in communities with older stormwater systems or where flooding is a concern.

Municipal codes often enforce an impervious surface ratio, which sets a limit to the portion of a lot that can be covered by impenetrable materials, such as concrete.

Continue reading Avoid the Zoning Fight: The Benefits of Permeable Backyard Pavers

How to Choose a Color for Your Backyard Pavers

When you moved into your home, you probably spent at least some time thinking about colors.

What color should we paint the living room? What shade do we want for the kitchen? Do these curtains go with our furniture?

For a lot of people, these are questions worth pondering. The right color can change the character of a room for the better, while the wrong hue can make your space feel uninviting.

Continue reading How to Choose a Color for Your Backyard Pavers

Let There Be Light! The Benefits of Illuminating Your Backyard

Nicely lit backyard patio

There’s something very comforting about a light shining in the dark. It’s why children want nightlights in their bedrooms and why – as adults – we seek outdoor lighting for our homes.

Whether you’re using floodlights, deck and patio lights or lower-profile hardscape lighting, there are a few different benefits to illuminating your property.

Continue reading Let There Be Light! The Benefits of Illuminating Your Backyard

9 Things to Know Before You Install Backyard Pavers

backyard pavers

There are so many great reasons to use pavers to transform an ordinary backyard space into a wonderful entertaining area: backyard pavers are attractive, easy to install, extremely durable, and require little in the way of maintenance.

But like any home improvement project, you’ll want to go in prepared. Whether you’re planning to do the backyard paver project yourself, or hire a landscaping or hardscaping professional to do it for you, here are a few tips to be mindful of.

Continue reading 9 Things to Know Before You Install Backyard Pavers