What We Like
Warm, inviting light
Can be used inside and outside
Spare lights included
What We Don't Like
Cord is thick and loosely wound
The Hofert Everglow 100 Indoor & Outdoor Christmas Light Set looks just as at home around an evergreen swag on the mantle as it is draped around a dorm room bulletin board. But how do the indoor-outdoor holiday lights measure up to other sets? We tested multiple strands for durability, design, safety, and all-around cheer. Keep reading to see how the Everglow 100 performed.
Design: Warm and white
The holiday-neutral, go-with-anything white on white color scheme makes it easy to match most décor, but unless you have a white tree, don’t expect it to blend in. The thick white cord (actually three loosely-intertwined cords) looks stark and synthetic against the greenery of either artificial or real trees. You could disguise that by decorating a green tree in all white, but these may be better positioned against a white wall (interior or exterior), or draped around white birch branches, a white wreath, or a white banister.
The temperature of the light is warm and inviting and not overly bright.
The mini bulbs are incandescent, so the temperature of the light they put off is warm and inviting and not overly bright. We couldn’t read a book by the light of one strand, but we had no trouble navigating a room by its light or making out each other’s features. It’s about the amount of light you’d want to have on when you’re aiming for maximum hygge, cozied on the couch in front of a Hallmark holiday special.
Length: Shorter than you think
The 18-foot length might sound decent, but if you’re using this set to decorate a normal-sized Christmas tree or the outside of your house, expect to buy a few boxes. Starting from the top, the lights only made it down about 2 feet. Fortunately, the Hofert set comes with a female connector at the distal end, so you can connect multiple strands. The company suggests keeping the combined wattage under 216 watts for a light string connected end-to-end. They don’t all have to be the same set, but if you do use only Everglow 100s, that’s five sets max. We connected a 72-watt set of lights to the female end (for a combined total of 96 watts) and had no issues.
The 18-foot length might sound decent, but if you’re using this set to decorate a normal-sized Christmas tree, expect to buy a few boxes.
There is about an 18-inch space between the plug and the first light socket, so an extension cord is probably necessary unless you don’t mind a string of lit bulbs trailing across the floor to an outlet. The advantage here is that plugging additional light strings into the end won’t result in big gaps of bare cord—particularly important if strung on a tree.
Setup Process: Test it first
Before installing the light string, we examined the cord for defects and plugged it in to make sure all the lights worked. We found that we needed to replace one bulb that had broken during transit. The bulbs can be pried out fairly easily with a fingernail or firm grip (unplug first!), and replaced with one of the spares included in the package. We draped them around the tree (still unplugged), plugged them in, and that’s about it.
Performance: Blinker bulbs 101
When we plugged in the string with the broken bulb, the entire length would still light up and continued to do so as long as the broken bulb remained in the socket, maintaining the connection. When we removed it, 50 of the 100 lights remained lit. That’s because the cord actually consists of two circuits, so if one bulb is removed, all is not lost. Only the broken circuit will go out.
Broken bulbs should be replaced as quickly as possible, since a few men down may cause the rest of the bulbs to overheat. Usually, the set is only slightly warm to the touch. It comes with six replacements bulbs—three regular clear bulbs and three blinking bulbs with red tips. If you replace a bulb with a regular bulb, the string will remain steadily lit. Replace it with a blinker, and the circuit that the socket is on will flash on and off. It doesn’t matter where in the circuit you place the blinker bulb—it can be any one of the lights. Since there are two circuits in this set, we had to replace one regular bulb with a blinker bulb in each to get the full length to blink. The two circuits are controlled by two different blinkers, meaning the length wasn’t in perfect sync with itself, which we didn’t love.
The two circuits are controlled by two different blinkers, meaning the length wasn’t in perfect sync with itself, which we didn’t love.
Blinking lights have been around since the ’20s. In their most basic form, a metal strip inside the bulb heats up as the electricity runs through it, eventually bending slightly and breaking the connection. When the strip cools, it bends back into place, reestablishing the connection. Because this is an organic process, using a blinking bulb doesn’t make for a super consistent flicker. That little metal strip is on its own schedule, thank you, and sometimes the lights flutter on for a fraction of a second and then back off, and sometimes they’re on for almost a second. Sometimes the pause feels overly long.
Maybe it’s a little absurd to be annoyed by the inconsistency of a Christmas light, but we found we preferred them in the steady-on position. The lack of rhythm was distracting, particularly when we were watching TV or trying to concentrate on something else in the same room.
As of this review, we had these lit for about six hours a day for ten days and then three or four hours a day the next couple of weeks. No burn-outs, no issues. That may or may not get you through the holidays depending on how long you keep them lit.
String lights vary, but falling between $8 and $9, the Everglow 100 set is somewhere in the middle price range. Something to consider before buying, though, is how many sets you’re actually going to need; 20 feet is shorter than you think.
Competition: Incandescent vs. LED
KooPower Indoor Fairy Lights: When companies first started making Christmas lights with LEDs (light-emitting diodes), the light, when compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, was invariably colder, over-bright, and just … off. Technology has come a long way since then. The light from this KooPower set, which we also tested, is just as warm and inviting as the Hofert incandescents, but the LEDs never get hot, so they’re safe to use anywhere, and they use 75 percent less power. Between the two, we prefer the KooPower.
- Product Name Everglow 100 Clear White Christmas Light Set
- Product Brand Hofert
- MPN 2980-22
- Price $7.79
- Color Clear bulbs/white cord
- Voltage 120V
- Total Cord Length 20 ft.
- Lit Length 18 ft.
- Bulb Number 100
- What’s Included Light string, 3 replacement clear bulbs, 3 replacement blinking bulbs