by Todd Ellner
October 31, 2016 Tips


It’s holiday time, and that means it’s time to “deck the halls” with your favorite decorations. If that includes putting up outdoor holiday lights, it’s always fun to take a cruise around the neighborhood to see what the neighbors have done.

There are so many light display ideas out there – from flash to elegance. But whatever effect you wish to create for your home, think safety first, unless you want to “Clark Griswold” the neighborhood. That’s the Chevy Chase character in the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation , who decked his house with 25,000 lights that, when plugged in, caused a blackout throughout his city of Chicago. Yes, the scene was funny, but if it happened for real – well, that’s another story.

Start with a design plan

This will help you determine how many lights you need. For example, it takes about 400 lights to cover a six-foot evergreen and 100 lights to cover a two-foot bush. If you plan to put lights on your house, measure where you plan to hang them, such as the roofline, porch railings, window frames or pillars, and make sure the plug reaches the power source!

Make sure the lights work

This seems like a no-brainer, but in your eagerness to get those lights up, you may forget, and that would not be cool. Also don’t use old, worn out strands, and be sure the extension cords you use are appropriate for outside use. All-purpose light clips for hanging lights won’t damage trim and works great for gripping shingles or gutters.

Think personal safety

If you use an extension ladder, be careful. The angle it’s positioned determines stability. In fact, have someone spot you if you can.

When you’re done, set a timer, flip the switch, and enjoy the “wow.”

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