Helpful Tips for Putting Up Your Christmas Lights
Usually right after Thanksgiving, you’ll start seeing Christmas lights twinkling on houses and lawns all across the world. I’ve always thought putting the lights up was fun to do because the end result is cool and it gets you into the holiday spirit. But, putting them up can be a pretty big task, especially if you don’t really know what you’re doing. Here are some tips I’ve found pretty helpful when putting my Christmas lights up.
Measure The Area You Want to Decorate
Trust me, if there is one thing I've learned over the years of putting lights up, it's to measure the area I want to decorate. I can't tell you how many times I have not gotten enough lights, and have had to go back and go through the huge crowd of holiday shoppers to get some more. If you measure your rooftop, lawn, bushes, etc, you'll not only have enough lights when it's time to go buy some, but, you will come up with some cool design ideas as you measure.
Always Check Your Lights Before You Put Them Up
This seems like common sense, but you'd be surprised how many people will do all of that work to put their lights up, then turn them on and you have bulbs that are not lighting or they are shorting out. Before you put your lights up, plug them in and see if all the bulbs are lighting up, or if there are any holes or kinks in the wiring that could short out later or even cause a fire.
Get Energy Saving Lights
Over the past few years, I've gradually switched over to LED lights and have actually seen quite a bit of savings on my electric bill. LED lights are 90% more efficient, last longer, and, since they give off little heat, you don't have to worry about something on your house or lawn bursting into flames. I will say that they are a little bit more expensive, but they look better and will save you a lot on your electric bill in the long run.
Remember Safety First
Whether they were shocked after putting their lights up while plugged in, or if they fell off a ladder, hundreds of people go to the hospital each year from holiday accidents. Whether you use it inside or outside, make sure you are using your ladder correctly. I've seen people use a small ladder in the back of a pick-up truck to reach the height they needed to string up their lights. Not a good idea. Take it from old Clark Griswold in this scene from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
Don't Overload Your Circuits
Each year, thousands of house fires are caused by Christmas lights that had a short in the wiring, or just simply because of someone overloading their circuits. Here's a hint, if all of the lights in your house dim when you turn your lights on, you have overloaded your circuits. No more than 1400 watts should be on a circuit. Check your Christmas lights to see how many watts they put out. Also, try not to plug too many lights in to each other. Again, safety first.
Use Landscape Net Lighting
Instead of using regular strand lighting for your bushes or trees, use net lighting and it will save you a lot of time, energy and stress. You won't have to worry about getting the strand of lights in the right place. Just get net lighting and drape it over your bushes, and you're literally done in seconds.
Getting Design Ideas
If you're not sure what kind of design you are going to do, take a drive around the neighborhood to come up with some ideas, or just simply look online. Start slow at first, and always remember you can add on later. After all, we all can't be Clark Griswold.