Thursday, January 31, 2008

No end connector...means what again?

Our number 1 question of all time is, " Do you carry mini lights that don't have a end to end connector on them?" Yes, yes we do. We have 4 inch (actually varies from 3.5 inch to 4 inch) spacing Miniature Christmas lights in 15, 20, and 35 bulb counts. These sets come in a variety of bulb colors and wire colors, and work great on all different type of projects.

Many of our customers use these NEC (no end connector) sets in craft projects. One very popular project is by filling some sort of glass container with lights, you can use anything from glass block to wine bottles. These NEC sets also work well for decorating such as, center pieces, windows, weddings, parties.

Head over to our mini light page and look for our NEC logo!

Zach Broyles
All American Christmas Co.

Do you sell lights with out a end connector

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Can you fix my mini lights?" Nope, but you can!

We get a ton of questions asking if we can or know how to fix lights. Well, we can't fix your light strings, but we can give you some tools and tips on how to fix your own sets.
  1. 9 times out of 10 if a new light string is not working it's a loose or twisted bulb. Quickly look over the lights to see if a bulb has came out of the socket or somehow twisted and broke the connection. We get strings back all the time that people say are 100% broken and a bulb has just popped out.
  2. Another common problem is overloading the wire and blowing a fuse. Most Mini light strings only allow 3 sets to be plugged together end to end. If a string has a fused plug then the fuse will blow, or it could potentially burn out the bulbs themselves. Don't think you can light your how house with one continuous run of lights.
  3. New light strings have shunted bulbs, so that if a bulb burns out the rest stay lit. Old sets don't have this technology (if you call an extra piece of wire inside the bulbs technology). These older sets require the use of mini lights testers / repair boxes.
  4. Using mini light testers, the small handheld mini light tester devices find where the flow of electricity is. You want to take the tester end and put it near the socket, if the flow of electricity isn't found near a socket then you're closing in on the culprit bulbs.
  5. Mini Light repair boxes, they will actually repair the light string and any burnt out or problem bulbs will not light. Now, if you have a loose bulb these repair and testers won't solve your problems.
Our Commercial Mini Light Repair box is our best seller and the number one repair box we have ever found.
The Magic Box Isolates Twisted bulbs, empty sockets and bad fuses by forcing electrical current through a non-working set. You can start repairing your defective lights instead of of trashing them. It makes "dollars and sense" to easily repair a set as opposed to to throwing it away. Essential for lighting professionals and crews, this little box will pay for itself in no time.
Miniature Light Tester Instructions
This special machine is designed to electronically isolate malfunctioning bulbs and/or bad fuses in miniature light sets by sending a controlled current through the string. There is no one particular way that problems are Indicated and it will take a while to become adept at using this testing machine. By following the detailed instructions below you will find that repairing bad sets is easier and faster than any other method available. Please read the following carefully before using the machine.
Testing Procedure:
  1. Plug machine into any standard 110-120-volt circuit.
  2. Turn machine to "on" position by flipping toggle switch on bottom left upward.
  3. Plug brown 6-ft. extension cord Into the outlet in the middle of machine. Then, plug only ONE miniature light set into the brown cord. (Remember the machine will test only one miniature light set at a time. Do not use on C-7 or C-9 light sets ...or any miniature light set that is operated by a computer chip, for example, chaser or fader sets).
  4. The machine is designed to test single circuits. An example would be 35 or 50 light sets, both of which feature only one circuit. Additionally, a typical 100 light set is constructed with 2-circuits (i.e. they have two (2) 50-light sets wired back-to-back). To test 2-circuit sets, you'll need to remove one bulb from the circuit that is working in order to test the non-functioning circuit. When you test a 100-light set that features 5 circuits, pull out 4 bulbs (one from each circuit, which is every 20th bulb and usually color-coded) to test the 5th circuit.
  5. If the circuit doesn't light up, push and release the large red button and the set will usually light up Immediately (with all bad bulbs that need to be replaced remaining unlit of course) or one or more of the sockets will make a loud "buzzing sound" which indicates a bad bulb or one which is simply "missing" from its socket. By listening for this buzz and watching for any sign of a socket "lighting up" with the arcing electrical spark inside, you can usually Isolate the problem area right away. You may have to spread the string out to discern just where the buzzing sound is coming from but it should be fairly easy to Identify the problem area. It may require two or more short buzzes for you to realize just where the buzz is occurring. Replace the bulb(s) and the set will light up unless there are other bad bulbs. Sometimes one of the wires is off to one side on the bottom of the bulb (straighten them up and reinsert).. .sometimes the bulb is a "one-legged" bulb (wire broken off) and other times one of the brass contact points Inside the socket is too far down inside the socket for the bulb to make proper contact. If the latter is the case, be sure to unplug the set first, then, pull brass contact "up" to correct position with sharp nose pliers, then re-Insert the bulb.
  6. If all the circuits have been repaired and a "buzzing sound" comes from within the male plug, it usually Indicates a bad fuse. Replace fuse and the set should work.
  7. If you have tried all of the above procedures and still can not get the set to function, you probably have a improperly wired set or a set with a direct short. Discard the set or return to manufacturer.
NOTE: The protective plexiglass cover on top of the machine is designed to insulate and protect the user` from any potential shock which may occur when testing a light set with faulty wiring or 'a direct short. To reduce possibility of. electrical shock when using this machine, avoid touching the side of machine when testing. Position fingers on top of plexiglass when pressing the red testing button. Always use caution and work in a dry environment. SOME models have an external plastic enclosure.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Update those old displays...

So Dad and I were talking about re doing some companies large 10 foot displays and it got me thinking, I can share about how one might go about doing such a project.

Step 1: Cleaning off the old lights and wire and cleaning off the frame. You want to get all the old wire, sockets, light bulbs, tape, zip ties, etc... off your display. After removing all the hardware, give the frame a light cleaning, this helps new products adhere better to the frame.

Step 2: (Optional) Fresh coat of Paint. If you have a older piece chances are that the metal is going to have some old paint on it or if it isn't painted then it might have a nice coat of RUST! You want to clean wire, then use a brush to get off the flaking paint or rust, give it a quick cleaning again to get off the dust you just stirred up, then prepare for painting. We recommend either painting your frame white or black, We use your standard run of the mill spray paint (low gloss or satin is recommended) . Give your frame 2 or 3 light coats, being sure to get in all the nooks and crannies. This will really help your frame last season after season.

Step 3: Lay out your materials, with most displays you want to use a 6" bulb spacing, make sure you have all your bulbs, socketed wire, quick connect plugs, electrical tape (white, black, green to match your frame/wire color) ready BEFORE you start taping the wire to the frame.

Step 4: Re-attach your wire, you want to the wire on the outside of the frame. As you are going around your display you want to tape the socket and wire tightly to the frame ( Don't pull electrical tape to tear it, cut it with a knife so it doesn't draw up after sitting outside). After you get your wire back up you can add sockets, REMEMBER you can only run about 100 C7 or C9 bulbs so don't over load your wire, you can use bare wire and sockets to make power strips you can run with the wire to move power around your piece.

Step 5: Screw in the lights, simple enough. Take your time, don't drop them.

Step 6: Try it out! Now you have a completely restored Christmas Light Display for your yard, business, etc...

I hope these simple steps will get you motivated enough to restore those old Christmas displays gathering dust in the basement.

C7 & C9 Bulk wire
C7 & C9 Bulbs
Clips, Tape, Sockets, Bare wire

Zach Broyles
All American Christmas Co.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Well....what color should I get?

It seems like every day I get asked one question that I cannot answer, "What color lights should I buy for my house?" I want to give you some tips about how to decide yourself.
  1. Take a look at your house at night, picture your house with different colored bulbs.
  2. Compliment your environment, depending on what kind of surroundings your house has the matching or complimentary colors can make a big impact and really draw the viewers eye in.
  3. Can't go wrong with Clear/White bulbs. A nice sets of clear lights is simple, classy, and just plain looks great.
These are three simple tips on how you can decide what colors work best for your needs. If you buy Christmas lights you want to get something that you'll be happy with season after season.

Visit our C7 and C9 Bulb Page

Zach Broyles
All American Christmas Co.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand clips...

We are currently planning some major overhauls for our site, we are going to be updating as many pictures as possible. Our main goal for this next week is taking all new photos of our Christmas Light Clips. We have images of most all our clips, but not enough images! We want (and our customers want) more pictures of light clips in use, we want examples, we want hi-res detailed images, which results in bandwidth eating mass hysteria.

This also means more movie clips, we have videos of our Musical Christmas Controller and our Panoramic Motion Projector (Click here to visit my youtube page, I do have some guitar and puppy related videos too, but don't worry about those). We want to give you as much information as anyone could possibly want, and in the next couple months we hope to do that.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Making Custom Inline Female Plugs

We get a ton of questions asking, "How in the world do you make your own custom power strips for your lights?" Well, we have a tutorial on (Click Here) but to help out the rest of the internet community we've decided to share our handy tip.

Making Custom Female Plugs:

Get your tools, we use pruning shears, a shop knife, and a multi tool

Using the shears cut 2 times on the inside of the plug. You cut on the side that doesn't have the opening for the wire.

Try to replicate the opposite sides spacing and length (these cuts are a little long but will work)

Grab the area in between your cuts and lift up, you can then cut this out or just twist and break the plastic.

You can go ahead and us the plug like this if you want, we usually will take the knife and clean up the edges.

CAREFULLY cut away the excess plastic to get a smooth edge. This step is optional if you have enough room for the wire.

You can now place the plug were you need it on the wire.

Slide on the back

Enjoy your custom Quick Connect Plug.

Please be careful when doing this, these tools are sharp and we assume NO RESPONSIBILITY if you lop a finger off or cut yourself. I hope these images and steps helps everyone trying to make custom inline plugs for their Christmas lighting projects.

Zach Broyles
All American Christmas Co.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mini light spacings are...WRONG!

We get lots of responses to our miniature Christmas light strings stating that they spacings are, "Wrong, all these light spacings are wrong!". Well, I have your answer! Mini Light bulbs are not exactly spaced at the intervals at which say, they wire however is cut to the spacings.

So let's say we have a 4-inch spaced set, now some of our manufacturers cut the wire to make the bulbs and socket be around 4 inches, but some companies cut the wire at 4 inches...then insert the wire into the socket which shortens the space between the bulbs.

We are in process of phasing out our spacing category names because the confusion, but will all miniature Christmas lights, be it 2.5 Inch spaced, 4 inch, 6 inch, or 8 inch you have to realize the spacings may not be exactly what the manufacturers say it is.

Check out our Mini Light page.
Zach Broyles
All American Christmas Co.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fitter, Happier, More Productive...

We are currently in the process of making the website a simplier, better looking, and most importantly faster online shopping experience. The online Christmas Light competition has grown by leaps and bounds and since we began as one of the very first online Christmas Lighting suppliers. We believe we owe it to the online shopping community to keep our service and our web site head and shoulders above the others. is one of the easiest to use online stores around. We pride ourselves in how simple it is to find whatever it is you are looking for. Mini lights, LED lights, Spools of wire, or bulbs are usually less than 4 clicks away. So within seconds (if you have high speed internet that is) you can be buying exactly what you need.

We are also in the process of adding even more information to our vast selection of Christmas lighting products! Hopefully this means less questions, which in turn means happier customers. Please visit us, bookmark us, and check back for all the great updates we are doing to our site.

Zach Broyles
All American Christmas Co.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Why do LED Christmas lights matter?

Seems like every day we get a phone call with questions about why LED Christmas are so expensive and what all the hype is about. Light Emitting Diodes (LED) are expensive, if you go to radio shack to pickup the same type of LED's that are used inside our lights you're going to spend anywhere from 75 cents to 2 dollars on a single bulb. Granted, when manufacturers use them they aren't paying that much a bulb, but it just shows how much the technology costs inside these sophisticated lights. LEDs have different costs depending on the color of the bulb itself, unlike traditional filament style Christmas bulbs that all light up a white/yellow color, LED bulbs light up a specific color. So when you see a LED light string that is blue, the LEDs inside the plastic bulb casing is actually lighting up blue. The result is a pure color, whites are white, blues are blue, and so on. Also unlike a traditional Christmas light string, LEDs generally require some sort of device to change the power so that it will work with the lights. This means there is either a small circuit board wired to, or separate from, the string which also makes them more expensive up front.

Now, even though the costs of these lights can be anywhere from 2 to 10 times the costs of traditional lights the benefits definitely outweigh the initial expense. Part of the hype surrounding LEDs in general is their amazing life span, some commercial mini lights can have a life up to 3,000 hours. Compare that to the amazing 200,000 hours life span that LED lights have! I've already mentioned the amazing pure colors that LEDs have, but another great reason to step up to Christmas LED Lights is the fact that their hard plastic shells wont break from regular use. We all know that traditional Christmas light bulbs, even the classic mini light bulbs are subject to breaking, but with LED light strings you won't have to worry about that anymore. The last and best reason to make the move to LED lights, is the fact that they don't use nearly as much precious electricity as traditional Christmas light bulbs. Your standard C7 bulbs uses 5 watts of energy, compare that to a screw in replacement LED C7 bulb which uses and amazing .96 watts! That's .96...less than 1 whole watt. Other LED strings can be just as a amazing, take for example our Commercial 25 Light LED sets only draw 1.8 watts, 25 bulbs....1.8 watts! This allows for more connectability and less of a headache when that electric bill comes in the first of January.

Please visit our LED page and check out our wide selection of LED lights we have for sale. I hope that you can see the great benefits of making the switch.

Monday, January 14, 2008


All American Christmas Co. had a great 2007! We hope that everyone that got our Christmas lights, led lights, bulbs, and what not had an amazing Christmas season as well. I am currently working on the site to make it even easier to use and faster than ever. One of the hardest things a company can do is keep up with current technology and trends while still keeping their website as user friendly as possible, but I am doing my best to keep and the easiest online shop to use.

We are going to be introducing some of the newer LED products later this year, so be sure to bookmark the site for that. Thanks!

Zach Broyles
All American Christmas Co.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Coming Soon

The new All American Christmas Co. Blog!
Bookmark now!