Dictionary of Terms

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Tungsten is a hard, rare metal with an extremely high melting point

An incandescent light bulb is an electric light which produces light with a filament wire heated to a high temperature by an electric current passing through it.  The hot filament is contained within a vacuum to stop oxidation.

A filament or incandescent bulb is the traditional fairy light bulb. These types of bulbs were originally invented in the 1800s and nothing much has changed since then. They are very inefficient, with a huge amount of energy being wasted as heat.

Filament bulbs are designed with a thin wire, burning in a vacuum, across the electricity supply. Sets of these lights will have a fuse bulb, usually identified with a white tip. The fuse bulb has a thinner filament and if it fails then the whole set goes out. This prevents run away failures and overheating.

IP Rating
The IP rating refers to the Ingress Protection Rating. This rating classifies the degree of protection provided about the intrusion of solid objects, dust, accidental contact and water. The aim of the IP rating is to give users more detailed information rather than simply ‘waterproof’.

IP20 = Protection against fingers or other objects not great than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter and no protection from moisture.

IP44 = Protection against solid bodies larger than 1mm and protection against water spray and splashes from all directions.

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. LEDs do not have a filament but are a thin silicone chip. This means that LEDs are far more robust than a traditional glass filament bulb and because of this they can be dropped without damaging them, making them ideal for Christmas and garden lighting.

LEDs do have a higher purchase cost than filament bulb lights but they are far more energy efficient and the life span of an LED is up to 100,000 hours – much longer than a filament bulb. They produce a bright, energy efficient light in a huge range of colours.

AC/DC (Not just a rock band)
AC refers to Alternating Current. This is the form in which electric power is delivered to businesses and residences.

DC refers to Direct Current.  Direct Current is produced by batteries and solar cells.

Direct Current may be obtained from an alternating current supply by use of a current switching arrangement called a rectifier. LEDs run on DC power so all our power cords contain a rectifier.

Low Voltage/Mains Voltage
Fairy lights are available in both mains voltage and low voltage. Mains voltage lights run at 230v and low voltage have a transformer which reduces the voltage down to 24v from 230v.  Low voltage lights are a good option if there is a possibility of the lights being tampered with.

Until recently most artificial Christmas trees were made with PVC needles. Needles were cut from coloured sheets of compressed PVC.  The needles make a wonderful looking artificial tree but can have a flat appearance from close up.

Needles can now be made in a different plastic, polyethylene (PE). PE needles are moulded rather than flat so give a thicker, more dense and realistic appearance.

A Residual Current Device, sometimes known as a trip switch, is a safety device that switches off the electricity automatically if there is a fault.

Solar lights consist of a photovoltaic solar panel, a rechargeable battery and a string of LED lights. As sunlight hits the solar panel, the light is converted into electricity which charges the battery, which in turn powers the LED lights.

In terms of artificial Christmas trees, the term ‘tips’ refers to the number of fronds, or little branches, on the tree. Why does this matter? The number of tips is important as it is a gauge of how bushy the tree is; therefore, the higher the number of tips, the bushier the tree.

Modular System
Our indoor and outdoor LED lights are part of a modular system. So although you may see 500m listed as a product on our website, one 500m long length does not exist. The 500m can be made up of 10m, 20m or 30m lengths connected together. This makes the lights easier to put up, take down and store.

When turned on all the lights come on and stay on. There is no flashing, twinkling, chasing etc effects.

All the lights turn on and off together. Different flashing speeds can be set from the control box.

The lights have a control box which offers multiple settings. For example the lights could twinkle , flash or all be on at once.

Double insulated
A double insulated electrical appliance is one which has been designed in such a way that it does not require a safety connection to electrical earth (ground).

The basic requirement is that no single failure can result in dangerous voltage becoming exposed so that it might cause an electric shock and that this is achieved without relying on an earthed metal casing. This is usually achieved at least in part by having two layers of insulating material surrounding live parts or by using reinforced insulation.


Welcome to Christmas Direct

Christmas Direct has been supplying high quality Christmas lights, garlands and baubles for nearly 20 years.

Today, we believe our top of the range Pro Series lights are the best in the UK, while our new range of luxury Christmas garlands stands apart in terms of quality and originality.

We also offer our Home Range lights for both indoor and outdoor use, combining Christmas Direct quality with High Street prices.

Add to that our extensive ranges of festive wreaths, garlands and glass style baubles, and we firmly believe we have something to offer everyone at Christmas – or any other time of year.