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How to set up your outdoor Christmas light display

7 Dec 2017 Nowra 0 Comment

Plan Your Design

 

The holiday decorating itch may strike suddenly and without warning. Before you start, it’s best to step back and develop an overall game plan. Resist the urge to simply “wing it.”

Pick a Focal Point
 – For example, if you have columns that frame your entryway, this may be where you want to start. Without a focal point your house will just look like someone blasted lights out of a cannon all over your lawn.

Some popular spots for outdoor Christmas lights include:

 

Measure – Measure any straight line you want to adorn with lights. This will help you decide how many strands you need. Also, measure the distance to your power source. No one wants a beautiful light display and no way to turn it on.

Lights Galore 
– If your goal is for your house to be seen from space, stagger two sets of lights side-by-side, or look for lights that are spaced closer together. Denser lights equal brighter lights.

 

Prepare Your Lights

Safety First – Use extension cords specific for outdoor use and look for lights rated for indoor/outdoor use. Check the Christmas lights package for this, the lighted length and how many strands to connect.

Check your Lights – Frayed or damaged cords are a big NO. One faulty strand isn’t only a safety hazard, but could ruin your entire design.

Light Colour
 – Believe it or not, white lights are not all the same colour. LEDs typically have a bluish tint, whereas incandescent bulbs are slightly orange. Hang them side-by-side and they will look mismatched. Lights can even vary based on manufacturer and how old they are. Make it easy on yourself and buy new lights.

Light Types
 – There are tons of different light types and colours – so have fun with them! Just make sure you group the same light-type together. For example, try using white lights on your bushes, but coloured lights on your trees and entryway. Top it off with white icicle lights along your roofline.

LEDs will save you money on energy costs and you don’t have to worry about them overheating.
Icicle lights look great on the eaves of your roof – just make sure to cluster them together. If stretched too far apart the look is completely lost.
For your bushes, try net lights. These are like a blanket of lights. Simply lay them on your bushes, and boom, you’re done.

 

Getting Started

Before you hang outdoor Christmas lights, decide what you’re going to work on first and gather everything together. This is where having a helper comes in handy. Start with bushes, then trees, any windows, the doors and finally the roofline.

 

Step 1

Test Your Lights – Just because lights are new, they still need to be tested – on the ground. The last place you want to find out your lights are busted is on top of a ladder in the cold. Go ahead and attach your light clips at this point and make sure they’re all in the same direction.

 

Step 2

Attach Lights to gutters – To attach lights to your gutters, use an all-purpose light clip or an office bull clip works fine. Hang the lights pointing up or down, just make sure they’re all clipped in the same direction.

 

Step 3

Attach Lights to Trees – If you’re hanging lights in a tree, try using a light-hanging pole. Hanging poles are also great if you don’t want to get on a ladder.

 

Step 4

Attach Lights to Railings – If you want to attach lights to the railings of your front porch or deck, check out deck clips.

 

Step 5

Set a Timer – Who wants to wake up at 3 a.m. to find the Christmas lights have been on all night? Now that the lights are up, plug them into an outdoor timer. Some timers even have light sensors that automatically turn on at dusk – technology at its finest.

 

Step 6

Flip the Switch – That’s it. Stand back and admire your work. Go grab yourself a cup of hot cocoa and a cookie – you’ve earned it!

 

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