John DeCosmo, president and owner of Ulta-Lit Tree Company, knows Christmas lighting. Recently speaking with College News magazine, John tells us three ways to light up for Christmas, and to kick off “Test Your Lights Tuesday”, a new campaign aimed at keeping your lights shining bright and holiday’s merry. One way to stay ahead of the game is to be prepared this holiday season. DeCosmo and his team know all too well about the agony of broken light sets. That is why he developed The LightKeeper Pro, an easy-to-use hand-held tool that sends a mild charge through the wires, so you can easily find the bad bulb. He also provided some valuable lighting tips for a safe luminous season including how and when to use LED versus incandescent lighting.
College News: What are three different ways to use lighting for the holidays?
JD: The opportunities are endless. We have a great display here. We use plastic cylinders that are 18 inches in height, so that we can stuff a light set inside. Some people put lights in a glass bowl, just to give the appearance of a gazing ball in the back yard. There is also lighting by lamps like lava lamps. I see many college students using lights in their dorm windows, spelling out names or draping across the room for some supplemental lighting. Light sets get cheap the day after Christmas! All of the inventory at major stores will expunge their inventory and do it willingly at half price. So that is a great time to grab some lights. I recommend LED lights if you are going to use them all year around but incandescent lights are great for the holiday season.
CN What is the difference between incandescent lighting and LED lighting?
JD: Incandescent is lower coast, LED is longer life. There is a science to LEDs. They were invented at the university of Illinois in 1963. They have a kind of space aged look. Incandescent are the Christmas lights that we are used to seeing for the holidays. You can secure them along your house and in your yard for outdoor use safely. LED are great to add supplement lighting and have a different appearance.
CN: What can you tell me about the Light Keeper Pro?
JD: I’m one of two companies who in 1996 were the only two sources of pre lit artificial Christmas trees. We are no longer in the tree business, but our story gets interesting in 1999 when most of our imported trees were defective! Instead of getting thousands of hours out of them, we only got hundreds of hours of life. In February of that year, I had hired an engineer long before the trees came in to teach me about electricity and lighting. To solve the problem, he developed a tool that we call the LightKeeper Pro. It is a $20.00 repair tool available in most major outlets like Target, Lowes and Home Depot. Over 20,000 outlets. It truly can fix any set of incandescent light sets out there.
CN: Can you tell me a bit about the Test Your Lights Campaign?
JD: We advocate that you test your lights prior to the holiday season. Look at whats wrong. Sometimes it is a matter of just one bulb. There is a toll free number if you have lighting questions at 1-888-858-2548. Our website is ultalit.com and you can get help. If you are wondering about that to get Dad for Christmas, this will impress him. After all, when one bulb goes out, all the Christmas bulbs go out.