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BUYER'S GUIDE

Christmas Garland Buyer's Guide

Introduction to Christmas Garland

Christmas garland add to your holiday home. Whether adding to the indoor Christmas scene or simply an accent to an outdoor display, Christmas garland are a decorators necessity. Below you will find tips and tricks to decorate with garland.

Garland Length

The majority of garlands sold are 9 feet long. The lighted garland have "end-to-end" miniature lights. End-to-end lights mean on one end is a male electrical socket and one end is a female electrical socket. This allows the lights and thus the garlands to connect to create a contiguous strand. It is important to understand that Underwriters Laboratory rates the number of end-to-end lights which can be connected. The majority of mini-lights can have three strings of lights connected together. Therefore, Christmas garland with these types of light sets have three garlands connected together to create a 27 foot long strand of garland. The limit set by UL is a safety guideline to protect you, the consumer. You should not go above the recommended rating.

There are longer commercial Christmas garland. You may find them in lengths up to 100 feet. While these are typically for commercial usage, they are perfectly suitable for residential usage as well.

Garland Diameter

The majority of garlands are listed as 9 foot garland with no reference to the diameter. Typically, this means the garland is 6 to 8 inches in diameter. As the diameter increases to 10 to 20 inches, the garlands move into a more premium price structure. A thinner garland is more useful for single door structures and lining smaller entry ways. The thicker garlands tend to be used on longer banisters or outside on the tops of buildings. As a general guideline, the farther the garland is away from view, the larger the diameter required.

When measuring the garland diameter, it is the measurement from the tip to tip while outstretched. The styling may cause a smaller finished diameter.

Mounting Garlands

Garland Grabbers

The garland grabber is a very popular item. There are two types of garland grabber. The first is used to mount garlands on flat surfaces such as a mantel. The second type is used to mount the garlands on banisters or railings. These are useful because you can hang the garland to the surface without damage and has a space for bows.

Zip ties

Another popular method of mounting garlands is to use zip ties.

Fishing Line

If you wish to suspend the Christmas garland, hide the mounting apparatus, use high strength fishing line so it appears the garland is floating.

Outdoor Garlands

For lighted Christmas garlands, it is important to make sure the lights on the garland are rated for outdoor use.

Direct sun light is something to consider when purchasing garlands. Particularly, if you are purchasing white garlands, you should put the garlands out of direct sun light. A 3-4 hour exposure is probably not harmful but 12-16 hours a day may cause fading or discoloration.

When connecting outdoor garlands end to end, use electrical tape to seal the connection between the male and female sockets.   This will help keep water from freezing between the sockets and potentially shorting the lights.