Do those Christmas lights really light up?

Yes, the Christmas lights on the car really do light up. There are 10 strings of LED Christmas lights on the car.

What kind of Christmas lights are best to put on your car?

LED Christmas lights work best because they have the lowest watt usage. Our LED lights use 4.8 watts per string and our power inverter can supply up to 150 watts of power. A power inverter is a device that converts car power so that it can be used to power small appliances designed to use house power like laptops and small electronics.

How fast can you drive?

We have gone up to 75 miles per hour for 1 hour with the Christmas lights on the car with no problems. I think it should be OK if you attach them securely. The first few times you first venture out with your Christmas lights on the car, I recommend stopping and checking them to make sure they’re holding. Even though ours have been holding just fine, we still check them fairly often. This year we are planning to try driving to Kansas with the lights on the car. If we make the 500 miles with the Christmas lights on the car we will let you know!

What is gaffer tape and where do I find gaffer tape to put on the Christmas lights?

Gaffers Tape is a vinyl coated cloth tape used in A/V, TV, photography and motion picture industries to hold wires, light and props. It will not leave adhesive residue behind when removed. Mike uses this tape all the time for his video production and just loves it! You can find gaffers tape here!

How do I know how many Christmas lights I can use?

If you look at plug in your car you can see the volts and amps that the plug can supply. You multiply the two and then that is how many watts the plug can support. Ours provides 20 amps at 12 volts, which means that the plug can support 240 watts.

You will need to get a power inverter, which converts car power to house power. Our power inverter is only rated for 150 watts, so even though the plug can support more, we can only use up to 150 watts of lights on our system.

If you look on the tag on the Christmas lights, you can see how many watts the Christmas lights require. (Ours use 4.8 watts per string.) When you add up the total watts required for all of the strings of lights you want to power, make sure that it does not exceed the power output of your power inverter. (So in our case, at about 5 watts per string, we could run up to 30 strings of lights.)

What about solar powered Christmas lights?

Yes, you can use solar powered Christmas lights on your car. Just make sure you secure the solar panel on the roof or some place will it will be sure to get sun.

I haven’t used solar powered Christmas lights, but if you try them, contact me to let me know how they work for you! If you want to buy some for yourself, you can find solar powered Christmas lights here!

When I use duct tape for the Christmas lights does it leave a residue?

It comes off with some Goo Gone found in the cleaner section of  your store. Just spray Goo Gone on the residue let it sit for a few minutes and then scrape off with an old credit card, plastic paint scraper or plastic pan scraper. You can find Goo Gone here.

To avoid having to clean off the residue, I’m going to try gaffer tape next year because it doesn’t leave a residue. (My dad uses gaffer tape in television production.)

I don’t recommend using other kinds of tape like packaging tape because they are messy and don’t stick all that well.

I do strongly recommend doing a test on an inconspicuous part of the car if you’re worried about the paint. We have not had any problems with the tape damaging the paint but if you’re concerned about that, it would be good to test it for yourself. I have been told that water based eco-paint is likely to come off with the tape so if you have a “green” car, you might keep that in mind.

How did you come up with the idea to put Christmas lights on your car?

I came up with it when I was 14 just for fun. I have always loved Christmas lights and thought it would be so fun to have our car lit up too! It looks like a LOT of people agree!

Is it legal to put Christmas lights on your car?

We live in Colorado and as far as we can tell it is legal to put Christmas lights on your car in Colorado. The law seems to say that you just can’t have all red in front and all white in back so that you can looks like an emergency vehicle or a car driving the wrong way on the road.

I recommend that you check the law where you expect to be driving for yourself. We’ve been all over Northern Colorado and driven past a lot of police officers who have not stopped us, but a number of them have laughed and waved! We have heard that someone was ticketed in Wichita, Kansas so if you live there, you might be careful!

I also recommend that you be sure to put the lights out of the line of vision of the driver so it’s not a safety hazard. I put some Christmas lights on the outside edge of the window but I taped them so that they point away from the window and are not visible to the driver.

Can you wash the car with Christmas lights on it?

I recommend that you wash the car before attaching the Christmas lights because the tape will stick better.

My dad has washed the car several times since the lights have been on it. He didn’t want to blow the lights off the car so he went to one of those car washes where you do it yourself with a spray gun. He was careful not to spray the lights directly up close so that the high pressure water didn’t damage them.

Just to make sure it wouldn’t cause problems with the electrical system, he wrapped tape around the exposed plugs so water couldn’t get in. He also unplugged the inverter when he washed the car so there was no electricity going through the lights. Since the lights are designed for outdoor use, I doubt it would have been a problem but it’s good to be cautious!

When he was finished washing the car he left it to dry for a while and then checked for any places where the tape might need to be replaced.

If you have a question that’s not answered here, contact me and I’ll be happy to answer!