Do you install lights every year or is it something that has been on your Christmas bucket list for a few years now? Either way, this opportunity only comes around once a year, and a little reminder to-do list can be helpful. Consider these helpful tips and tricks before you get started on your outdoor holiday décor.
Plan Ahead and Measure
There is nothing worse than getting started on a project and realizing that you don’t have everything you need to complete it. Prevent extra trips to the store and unnecessary spending by drawing out where you want the lights on your home and measuring out how many strands you need and be sure to measure the distance to the nearest outlet. It is also essential to read the packaging on your lights and confirm that the number of strands needed to cover the area can connect safely.
Set Aside Time and Activate Helpers
If you’ve ever watched Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) in, “Christmas Vacation” prepare his home for the ultimate Christmas light display, you should know, that this cinematic rendition is not hyperbole, it can be time-consuming. First, you must find all your lights, untangle them and make sure they are in good working order. Then, you have to go through the arduous task of positioning and repositioning the ladder along the eves. Not to mention, assuring that you have a cord long enough to reach a working outdoor outlet. Needless to say, you’re going to need some help with all that. Consider having a family member, at the very least, stand at the base of the ladder to ensure you have all the things you need like hooks and make sure the lights to not get tangled. If you’re thinking you can just knock it all out in a few hours, you may be underestimating the task.
Always Keep Electrical Safety in Mind
Safety first! Try ensuring all your lights come out of one plug with a timer and purchase plug protectors to protect connections. By protecting plug connections, you not only ensure the safety of your home but also ensure your light show will go off without a hitch. If a connection gets wet, it can trip a GCFI (ground fault circuit interrupter) which will cause the lights to lose power. LED lights are the safest option for hanging Christmas lights because they use less energy, allow more light strips to link together, and stay cool. Never use indoor extension cords or try to duct tape your lights together.
Use the Right Tools for the Job
Think about how you want to mount the lights. Using nails or a staple gun can damage your home or the lights. There are plastic clips available to ensure you don’t damage your home of lights by attaching them with a hook to the gutter or shingles. Also consider the types of lights that will make things easier for your project. You may find that netted lights are easier for draping over bushes.
After you have finished all the hard work, grab some hot chocolate, your favorite Christmas tunes and your family, then have a fun lighting ceremony!