The holidays are here and everyone is getting into the spirit by dressing up their [city] homes with festive holiday décor.
If you’re someone who loves dressing up your home’s exteriors during this time of year, you probably know that lighting tends to add the biggest “wow” factor to your home’s facade. That being said, there are a few things to remember when setting up outdoor lights, which will go through in this guide.
1. Less Is More, Most of the Time
Unless you’re joining a holiday decorating contest, it’s best to just keep your holiday lighting setup simple. Covering all your outdoor spaces with flashing string lights and other outdoor light fixtures, for example, may do more good than harm, especially if you have small children and pets. If you have little to no experience setting up advanced lighting systems, it’s best stick to stringing a few string lights on your bushes or trees or setting up a glowing snowman on your yard.
2. Always Remember Safety
Remember, safety first. For starters, use lights that are made specifically for outdoor use—check the label if the fixture is weatherproof and shockproof. It’s also a good idea to avoid placing outdoor lights in areas that can turn them into fire hazards, such as high-moisture areas
3. Check for Burned-out Lights
If you’re using string lights that are a few years old, make it a point to check for signs of burning out and broken glass. Test your lights, and if, possible, replace individual burned-out bulbs. Burned-out lights tend to suck up more power from the string, causing the other lights to become dimmer.
4. Know Your Lights
If you’re buying a new set of holiday lights, it’s best to know your options. Whether you’re looking for a set of blinking string lights or net lights that you can drape over bushes and shrubs, knowing what’s available helps you make sensible purchases that match the layout of your home’s outdoor spaces.
In addition, the type of lights used for holiday lighting also make a big difference. New light strings made with LED bulbs, for example, excel in several departments, including lighting quality, safety (they don’t get hot), and energy efficiency.
5. Secure Your Lights
Instead of attaching your lights with hooks, screws, staples, and nails, use electrical tape. It’s a great alternative when mounting your lights because they don’t destroy surfaces and protect electrical connections. Other good alternatives are clips, like parapet clips or shingle tabs, which can hold your lights to surfaces after applying pressure.
6. Add Dimension
Add dimension to your holiday lighting setup by placing lights on the ground. Consider using stake or ground lights for added drama and layered lighting. Multi-colored lights make a great addition to yards and outline paths, walks, and driveways.
7. Consider Getting Professional Help
If you don’t have experience adding lights to your roof, for example, it’s best to limit your lights to gables, eaves, and the edges of the roof. When in doubt, there’s no shame in getting a pro to prepare your holiday lighting setup for you. These people know to keep lights from metal and recognize the signs of overheated wires.
Decorating your outdoor spaces with holiday lighting is a great way to get in the spirit of the holidays. Just remember to keep things safe and not to overdo your lighting. Have fun and happy holidays!