If you want to buy any of the lights mentioned above online at Amazon and have them delivered to your doorstep, click on these links:. Outdoor power stake has 6-foot cord, built-in timer, and six places to plug in lights. The most convenient light strings have a male plug at one end and a female receptacle at the other—you can plug them together from end to end, which makes them easier to route.
In the case of mini-lights, short, light strings are often a better bet than longer , , or light strings because you can easily unplug and replace a defective string. Regardless of the type you buy, choose lights that are UL-approved for outdoor use. Plan to run heavy-duty extension cords from a working volt electrical outlet protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter GFCI. Ideally, use a switch-controlled outlet, or plug the lights into an automatic timer. Do not use an indoor timer outdoors. Using a long measuring tape ideally 25 feet or longer , measure the length of your house along the ground.
Also measure its height and the height of any bushes or trees you intend to light. Then measure the lengths of the light strings you will need to outline doors or windows. Figure the number of foot light strings it will take for all of these measurements.
Before you plug them in, visually inspect the light strings, looking for broken or missing bulbs and worn or defective wiring. If you discover faulty wires, replace the string entirely as this could present a fire hazard. If bulbs are broken or missing, replace them. To extract a broken bulb, wear gloves and use long-nose pliers pull mini-lights straight out; unscrew C-7 or C-9 bulbs counterclockwise.
Once a light string is complete, plug it in and check for burned-out bulbs.
How to Hang Christmas Lights
Unplug the string before replacing faulty bulbs and then retest it to be sure all the lights work. If the fuse has blown, replace it; if it blows again, replace the entire string. Place it firmly on flat ground and, extending it well above the eaves, lean it against the eaves at an angle that will be comfortable and safe to climb—neither too steep nor too flat. If you must lean the ladder against the gutter, place a short piece of 2 by 4 inside the gutter to reinforce it. For more about proper ladder use, see Ladder Safety. For attaching lights along gutters or the roof, use plastic clips made for the job—these grip shingles or gutters and have a lower hook that holds a light strand or extension cord.
For attaching lights to window trim and similar vertical surfaces, use rope light clips or adhesive or nail-on plastic string light clips , readily available online or at home improvement centers. Space them about 12 inches apart or as recommended. Do not use staples or nails to hang light strings—they can pierce or wear away the protective insulation, creating an electrical hazard. Only every month or two. A lighting expert offers practical—and safety conscious—tips for putting up your holiday light display.
Sometimes less is more when you are lighting the exterior of a house. Instead of blanketing the entire rooftop with an excess of colored lights, why not try a more subtle approach that highlights the shape and outline of your home through a simple but elegant all-white light design? Decorating the outside of your home for the holidays is always a creative challenge, particularly if you favor a unique lighting design. From his own experience as a holiday lighting specialist, Phelps recommends using LED lights because they are more energy efficient and require less wattage than incandescent bulbs.
We try to keep our load at half of that seven and a half or eight amps. Danger occurs when you start overloading the circuit. The best approach to lighting the front exterior of your home is to start at the center and work your way out to the sides.
How to Hang Christmas Lights
You may have distinctive architectural details you want to showcase such as gables, arches, chimneys or other rooftop features. Achieving the perfect balance is important. If you are more interested in showcasing your yard, then shrubs and trees make good focal points, especially if they help guide the eye to the main entrance of the house. Phelps recommends a canopy wrap of lights for shrubs and a branch wrap for ornamental trees. Lighting walkways and the borders of garden beds also adds visual interest to the design. You may even have an outdoor sculpture or water feature such as a fountain that could become a showstopper if your lighting configuration is well executed.
A classic all-white lighting scheme is still a perennial favorite. We had someone who went all green last year and one of the most unique combinations is green and blue — you stop in your tracks when you see that. Some people may opt to light more than just their house or yard.
1. Inspect The Wires
This can be accomplished with a specific attraction such as a manger scene or populating an area of your yard with Yuletide-themed characters. For example, you could create a tunnel of lights that spans your entire driveway and illuminates your cars underneath. Evergreen wreaths decorated with colorful ribbons, ornaments or lights can provide wonderful accents for doors or windows.
Be sure to research them thoroughly before signing any contracts. Are they properly insured? Do they offer references and visual examples of their work?
2. Electrical Concerns
Do they provide a detailed breakdown of their charges and charges? Of course, the advantage of hiring a professional decorator means less risk for you to have an accident while decorating or having to deal with electrical problems or light replacement. If you are a confirmed DIY type, be sure to follow the below safety precautions to ensure that your Christmas decorating will be a huge success.
They might be bending in the cold so you could have exposed copper or broken sockets. If you have frayed wires, throw the lights away. If you are plugging strings of lights together, try to avoid connecting more than five or six strands end to end and overloading the circuit. You should also avoid pulling the strands too tight in order to reach an outlet. Rips and tears in the wiring surface caused by severe winter winds could result in electrocution.
If you are creating a lighting configuration on your lawn, make sure to keep your connections out of any possible ground water. Inspect your ladder and make sure it is stable and in good condition. Make sure you ground the ladder on a solid, flat surface. Have someone assist you with the decorating who can provide any needed support or stabilization that you need. Hire a professional instead. Home Design Make and Celebrate Holidays. Useful Tips for Installing Holiday Lighting. Pinterest Facebook Twitter Email.
The Outline Effect Sometimes less is more when you are lighting the exterior of a house. Practice Caution on Rooftops or Elevated Areas. Make a Rustic Holiday Star From Paint Sticks and Jute This inexpensive holiday star made from paint sticks and jute adds rustic charm to any holiday decor.
Christmas Lights at Casa del Pomba Deacon Dave's elaborate display of Christmas lights draws thousands of visitors every year. Nature's Perfect Craft Supply: Bird Seed Christmas Ornaments For the holidays, don't just decorate the Christmas tree inside your house.
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