Putting up Christmas lights can be a fun and festive way to decorate your home for the holidays. To ensure that this process is enjoyable, safe, and visually stunning, consider these helpful tips:

  • Timing: Turning on Christmas lights before Remembrance Day would be like wearing a Halloween costume to a New Year's Eve party – it's just a tad too early, and you might get some raised eyebrows. Remembrance Day is a time for solemn reflection and honoring our veterans, while Christmas is all about festive cheer and bright, twinkling lights. So, waiting until after November 11th not only avoids the clash of holiday themes but also prevents any awkward "Is it too soon for this?" debates. Let's give our brave veterans their well-deserved moment, and once the poppies have been respectfully put away, unleash the holiday decorations like a well-rehearsed Broadway production!
  • Planning: When it comes to putting up Christmas lights, planning is crucial. Imagine not planning and ending up with a light display that looks like it was designed by a sugar-crazed elf who's had too much eggnog. You don't want your home to become the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons. So, take some time to think about how you want your lights to look. Sketch out your ideas, and maybe even ask a friend for a second opinion. After all, two heads are better than one, especially when it comes to avoiding holiday decorating disasters
  • Measure: Measuring the areas, you plan to decorate with lights helps you purchase the right amount of lighting. It also avoids the yuletide stress of running out of lights prematurely .
  • Gather Supplies: In addition to Christmas lights, make sure you have all the necessary supplies ready, such as extension cords of appropriate length, clips, hooks, a ladder, and a flashlight if you're working in the dark. Channel your inner elf and assemble your decorating toolkit. The only thing missing is a hard hat with reindeer antlers – but safety first!
  • Check Your Lights: Don't wait until you've hung all your lights to test them. Test each strand as you go to identify and replace any defective bulbs or strands immediately. This prevents the frustration of discovering issues once everything is installed. Testing your lights as you hang them is like trying on your holiday outfits before the big party. You don't want any surprises, like discovering you've been sporting an ugly sweater all evening
  • Safety First: Safety is paramount. Make sure you have a friend nearby, just in case you need someone to call 911 or take a video of your epic ladder fail for YouTube. It's all about that holiday spirit, right?
  • Use Outdoor Lights: Outdoor lights are designed to withstand moisture, temperature fluctuations and are built to handle all sorts of shenanigans from snowball fights to rain dances. Using indoor lights outdoors can be dangerous and may cause damage to the lights. 
  • Extension Cords: Choose high-quality, outdoor-rated extension cords that are built to handle outdoor conditions. To avoid festive frustration, ensure the cords are in good condition and aren't tangled or kinked, which can lead to damage and reduce safety. And remember, keep those twinkling strands off the ground. Lights and cords down low can turn your winter wonderland into a tripping adventure, and you might end up with a real holiday heartbreak if someone's clumsy foot meets the wrong fate!
  • Hang Lights Carefully: Use clips or hooks made for hanging Christmas lights. These accessories are designed to securely hold the lights without damaging the wires. Avoid staples or nails, because they're like the clumsy elves of decoration, always making a mess. They might pierce the insulation, and then it's not "Ho, ho, ho," but "Oh, no, no!" with an electrical mishap. Let's keep the holiday spirit merry, not shocking!
  • Mind the Electrical Load: Be aware of the electrical load on a circuit. Each circuit has a maximum capacity, and overloading it with too many lights can trip the circuit breaker or even pose a fire risk. So, spread your lights across multiple circuits if necessary and avoid becoming the Clark Griswold of your neighborhood.
  • Time the Lights: It's like being the DJ at a Christmas party – you want your lights to shine when the party's in full swing. Use timers or smart plugs to automate when your lights turn on and off. Not only does it save energy, but it ensures your lights are on when people are most likely to see and enjoy them. Nobody's impressed by a dazzling light display at 3 a.m., except maybe the reindeer.
  • Avoid Blocking Ventilation: Make sure your Christmas lights do not obstruct any vents, flues, or exhaust systems on your home. Blocking these can affect air circulation and heating/cooling systems, potentially causing issues inside your home. Blocking vents is like hiding the cookies from Santa. Don't be surprised if your HVAC system goes on strike!
  • Take Down Promptly: After the holiday season, don't leave your lights up for too long. Sunlight and weather can damage lights over time, and removing them promptly ensures they're in good condition for the following year. As well leaving your lights up for too long is like wearing a Santa hat in July – it's a bit out of season, and your neighbors might start questioning your sanity.
  • Store Lights Properly: When it's time to take down your lights, store them in a cool, dry place. Proper storage is like the North Pole's toy vault – it keeps everything safe and sound for next year's holiday adventure. Remember, the less tangled, the merrier!
  • Alternative to string lights: Consider permanent, year-round lights, gemstone string lights, are a unique and decorative way to add a touch of sparkle and color to your holiday decorations. These lights are designed to mimic the appearance of various gemstones, and they come in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes to suit your Christmas decorating needs and ensure your Christmas decor is the talk of the town! 

Listen up, folks! When it comes to decking the halls with Christmas lights, think of it as your chance to be the Picasso of holiday illumination. Just take your time, keep safety as your guiding star, and let your imagination go bonkers to whip up a holiday spectacle that's more lit than a Christmas tree!

Posted by Mike Burton on
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