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Ulta-Lit's No. 1 holiday light-saving tip

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December 20, 2012|By Matt Lindner @mattlindner | For RedEye

Ulta-Lit president John DeCosmo said more often than not, the people calling his toll-free holiday light hotline are people who have a technical background.

"The two people that are challenged most are electricians and engineers," he said. "They're smart people and these little 2½ volt Christmas lights confuse the absolute daylights out of them. We find that to be quite interesting."

And once the lights go off, most people tend to think they need to head out to the store and get a new set.

"A lot of people throw away the bulbs, a lot of people turn the tree around and try to hide the failed light sets or live through it because they don't know that easier solutions are out there," he said.

That's because more often than not, the problem is caused by a bad bulb or two. And much like you'd change a burned out light in your bathroom, DeCosmo says you can make the most out of your investment by doing the same on your string of holiday lights.

"It's easy to lengthen the life of light sets by replacing burned out bulbs," he said. "When you don't replace the burned out bulbs, you're causing more voltage to go to the remaining lit bulbs and it's too much for them. It's more than they were designed to do."

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