Outdoor lighting is a big part of many folks holiday season. For some its a tradition. For others, its a treat for the neighbors. Yet there are some that take outdoor illumination very seriously. Remember Clark Grizwald, from National Lampoons Christmas vacation?
Whether you add a few fairy lights, or blow out the towns electric grid every year, This article is for you. Were going to discuss the dos and donts of Holiday Lighting.
Here are a few things you must check, before you light up the world.
1. Make sure the lights and wires are in good condition. Dont use strings with frayed wires, or broken bulbs.
2. Always look for the UL approved tag on your plugs.
3. Make sure the lights you choose are specifically for outdoor use. Do not use indoor only lights outside.
4. Try to use the light strings that wont gout completely if one bulb goes out. It will save you a few headaches later.
5. Make sure you are using the right size lights. If you are lighting a small tree, use smaller twinkle lights. For the gutters and large trees and shrubs, use the larger old fashioned type.
Affixing those lights
How tos; There are many different ways to affix your lights to what you want to affix them to.
1. Hooks. There are all sorts of hooks made especially for hanging outdoor lighting.
2. Clips. There are also some neat clips you can use for fastening to trees or gutters.
3. Nails. If you are going to use nails, be very careful not to put the nail through the wire. Putting the nails up first can assure your safety.
4. Tacks. In a pinch, tacks can save the holiday. Just be VERY careful when using them. Never put the point through the wire, Even if its right on the edge. Place tacks between multi wires strings, or just below the wire. Then place the wire behind the tack head.
5. Wire. Wire is very useful when attaching a string of lights to a tree trunk. Or a lamp post. Even through the air between items. To create the affect or floating lights.
Where tos; Where you place your lighting is always a personal thing. Some cover the house with them. Some add a simple string of twinkle lights around the door.
1. Gutters. Strings of all sorts of light styles look good, hung from the gutters. With a few clip on hooks, you can hang them with ease.
2. Windows. Lights around windows can make a real holiday look. You can either surround the windows, or create a swag for a pretty look. Do try to refrain from covering the window with lights. There are two reasons for this. First, you wont be able to see the view day or night. Second, it will not only light up outside, but it will also light up the room behind the window.
3. Trees. To me, nothing looks prettier than a tree covered in twinkle lights. Simple clear lights look the best. For the best effect, use plenty of lights. Wind the strings around the branches, and upper trunk. It might take more than one or two strings. Believe me it is worth the work.
4. Bushes. Here is another place where many types of lights look good. You can choose the large bulb type, the small twinkle lights, and even the new style of woven lights. In fact, the woven lights are super easy to put on a bush. Just drape it over the bush, and plug it in.
5. Forms. There are all sorts of forms out there. From single light angles to peace signs and reindeer. I have a neighbor who has a spiral tree form. It makes an interestingly festive look.
Now that Ive given you some ideas, go ahead and light up your holidays. If you have a good picture of how you light up your house, let me know. We would all love to see it.
If you’re in the market for lighting;
Luminations brings flexible rope lighting to you at wholesale prices. The possibilities are endless.
R.MAN PRODUCTIONS Has all sorts of holiday lighting, and plenty of pictures.
Eileen O’deas is an expert in home economics, decorating, crafting and gardening and has written 61 articles on Home & Garden at Suite 101.