View Full Version : Storing your lights

07-21-2011, 10:55 AM
There may be a thread on this somewhere but I couldn't find it. I just bought a bunch of strings of mini's and C9 and spent a better half of a day untangling them. Are there better ways of storing these rather than bunching them up and putting them in a box. I know I have used a piece of cardboard,cut slots in it and wrapped them that way. I got 6 spools of minis. The spools were nice and made of plastic. They even came with a nice zippered case for them.. Like to know your suggestions and comments.

Thanks a bunch.... Got to love this forum. Get lots of support here (moral and immoral...LOL)

07-21-2011, 11:04 AM
I wrap up a bunch of my mini lights into balls. That way when I am putting them back out I can unroll the ball as the lights go up. Most of my mini lights are only as large as 100 lights, but I have alot of strings of mini lights.

Works for me.....

07-21-2011, 11:26 AM
Totally agree with Barnettd. I laughed because it didn't seem like the Light Balls required any explanation or would even make that big of a difference, but it simply does. All of my 3 Color Mega-Strands are rolled into balls. Last year when i did the setup, I had no tangles or problems of any kind.


07-21-2011, 12:44 PM
I absolutely agree! When I first started getting in to large scale displays, I ran across a video on how to start at the female end of the ministring, wrap it around your hand 6 or 7 times and then take that bunch off of your hand and start wrapping around it creating a ball.
Since I started doing that I have reduced my setup/tear down time! I have also had less failures due to busted lights or broken strings since doing this. Once they are in a ball, I put them in a plastic container for easy shelf storage.
I even take brand new lights out of the box and wrap them into a ball before I attempt to put them up.

As for the C-9's, I hold on to a bulb and then let the next one drop down. The next bulb I bring up to the first and let the next one fall down. Eventually I have 12 bulbs on one side and 13 on the other. I put a little electrical tape in the middle to hold the shape and then put them in a plastic grocery bag. This works for me. I hope it makes sense:)

Good luck and enjoy.


07-21-2011, 01:08 PM
I have been balling up my strings for several years. Itís probably not the most efficient way of storing but itís quick and easy to roll and unroll.

Even if Iím going to put them up right away, I still create a ball. This will stretch them out long enough that the zigzag is removed.

This makes rapping trees much easier because you just pass the ball around.

When Iím hanging the lights on the second story eve, I place the ball on a wire hanger attached to the highest rung of the ladder. Attach the lights; leave three feet of slack and the ball moves with the ladder.

07-21-2011, 01:40 PM
Making light balls is by far the easiest way to do it. My friends always ask how come I dont have tangled lights to deal with. I explain I make them into balls and then I grab one and roll it across the floor and let it stretch out and they are amazed. Like Ernie said too, wrapping trees with them is so much easier.

07-21-2011, 01:48 PM
Lets face facts: With the number of lights we put up and have to take down, we need efficiency. Nothing slows a job down more than needing to untangle something during setup, or complicated storage methods during tear-down.

IMHO, there are 2 things you should do to prevent tangles:

1 - Pick a system and STICK to it. I use the hand-to-elbow method, but do it the same way EVERY time. I start with the END (female), and wrap until I have about 3 feet left (which for me is the distance from my elbow to the ground). Then I wrap the end around the bundle, plugging the male into the female when done. This happens ALWAYS with NO EXCEPTIONS: Female/Hand to Elbow/Around Middle/Plug in. Takes about 15 seconds for a string of minis. I store them packed tight in storage bins.

The same thing holds true while decorating. I ALWAYS decorate from left to right, bottom to top, in the same color order - which for me is clear/green/red/blue. Come tear down I start on the TOP RIGHT with BLUE.

2 - (IMHO this is the MOST important thing to remember) - If you follow a system then NOTHING is EVER tangled and you need to resist the urge to UNtangle: You may try to pull something apart and it find it to be bound up or bound to other strings, but those are TWISTS and not TANGLES. To tangle something means you have pulled a free end though a loop of some kind. As long as you didn't do that when storing, installing, or removing then they don't exist. Some twists will APPEAR to be tangles, but they are not. Simply find the end or ends and pull things apart.

This is also true if you bundle lights together. I have many bundles for things like my gutters and mega tree. They may look horribly tangled, but they are not. I can start at either end and pull them apart in a minute or a few seconds if someone is helping at the other end.

07-25-2011, 05:33 PM
I use a winder I made and put them on hydraulic hose spools. these are free for the taking from hydraulic hose manufacturing companies. All you have to do is ask.
here's a video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=984NNkgJrFk

The video shows it winding cords. It also does a great job with mini's as well. I have a remote control that I use when taking lights off the roof. All i need to do is start a string and keep plugging them in as it rolls them up!. I'm all about efficiency!!!!
When I put the lights up I have a PVC rack that holds a Red spool, a Green Spool, and a white spool. So whatever color I need is ready to go.