How Bright are Festoon Lights? | Festoon Lighting 101

how bright are festoon lights featured image

The brightness of your festoon lights solely depends on the festoon light bulbs that your fixture uses to illuminate your space. Different festoon light bulbs emit contrasting levels of light brightness depending on their specifications. Besides LED festoon lights being the most energy-efficient fixtures in the market, they offer the brightest light compared to the other light fixtures with the same wattage. 

What Determines the Brightness of Outdoor Festoon Lights?

Most people associate wattage with their LED festoon lights’ brightness, but nothing could be further from the truth. Light wattage measures the amount of energy that a lighting fixture draws upon when switched on, while the brightness of an LED light is measured in lumens. Pay attention to the lumens (lm) of LED light bulbs when making your purchasing decisions to ensure you get a lightbulb that produces the level of brightness you’re after.

Many factors affect the ability of festoon lights to illuminate your space. That’s the reason why you should pay close attention to the lightbulb you choose to screw into your festoon light sockets. Here’s an overview of these factors to help you select the dim or bright festoon lights depending on the area you plan to decorate.

1. Voltage and Current 

BrigthFestooonLight VoltageandCurrent

Your festoon light brightness depends on the amount of power the fixture uses to emit light and heat energy. Subsequently, power, measured in watts, is calculated by multiplying the current product and the voltage. Thus, technically speaking, a lightbulb’s brightness is determined by both its current and voltage.

It’s important to note that different bulbs have distinct maximum operational current and voltage that allows them to illuminate at their brightest. Raising the current or the voltage higher than the specified maximum operational limit will damage your festoon lights.

2. Resistance

bright festoon lights resistance

The Festoon light’s brightness also depends on the resistance in the circuit, especially for the incandescent festoon light bulbs. The higher the resistance to the current in the festoon light bulb, wiring, and circuitry, the lower the current, power, and brightness there will be. Conversely, the lower the resistance in the festoon light bulb, wiring, and circuitry, the higher the current, power, and brightness there will be.

That’s why when an incandescent festoon lightbulb is turned on, it starts by being dim in the first few seconds due to high resistance. As the resistance decreases, the brightness of the festoon incandescent bulb continues to increase with time until it reaches equilibrium. For that reason, it would help to have quality festoon light wiring for maximum brightness and less energy wastage.

3. Lumens

bright festoon lights Lumens

Due to the technological transition in the lighting industry from incandescent to LED festoon lights, lumens are one of the most effective ways of determining the brightness of your festoon lights. Simply put, lumens are the international unit of measurement used to indicate the brightness of an LED light bulb. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light emitted, while the lower the lumens, the dimmer they will be.

Lumens allows you to buy LED festoon lights whose bulbs emit the amount of light you need to shed light on your outdoor or indoor space. The number of lumens of LED festoon light bulbs is indicated on their packaging to help you make an informed choice.

Main takeaway: Opt for higher lumens (above 100 lumens) when looking for bright festoon lights.

4. The Festoon Lighting Circuit's Set Up

bright festoon lights The Circuits Set Up

There are only two ways to set up your festoon lights: parallel or series setup. The goal of the festoon lighting setup you select to install your festoon lights is to set up the lights, electrical components, and appliances in the most energy-efficient way. Luckily, most festoon lights are installed using the parallel setup, ensuring maximum illumination.

The parallel circuit setup ensures that the voltage across every bulb in the festoon lights circuit is similar to that of the power source. Therefore, the brightness of each of the festoon light bulbs in the circuit remains the same. On the other hand, the series setup allows lightbulbs to share the same current by splitting the available voltage. As such, the brightness of bulbs decreases with each added festoon lightbulb in the circuit.

As you may have noticed, many factors contribute to the brightness of your festoon lights. Looking for these factors outlined above before making a purchase will go a long way in helping you choose the festoon lights that emit the amount of light you want. Luckily, many our festoon light bulbs can be dimmed allow you to change your light fixtures’ light brightness without changing the lightbulbs.

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