Tips for Installing Outdoor Holiday Lighting
If there is one constant among the festive holiday season that can involve a lot of healthy chaos, it is the need for decorative lights. Decorative lights on the outdoors, however, cannot simply be hung on bushes and trees without some sort of consideration for property, health, and safety. Just as important, if you are getting ready to decorate your property, you must make certain your decorations are as grand and as visible as possible.
1. The right tools
To hang outdoor lights, you will need the right personal clothing as well as the right utility gear in order to the job properly and keep you safe:
- rubber-coated gloves
- outdoor extension cord
- staple gun or u-shaped tacks and hammer
- an assistant
- rubber grommets
One of the most important aspects of hanging outdoor lights involves having an assistant to hold a ladder or help you with the wires that can easily become tangled. Rubber-coated gloves offer warmth as well as a high degree of grip. The material allows you to actually feel the lights and wire without fumbling around.
2. Bushes and trees
Because the lights will be seen at night, you want to pick the bushes and trees to light while someone watches from the sidewalk. From there, your assistant can tell you how the lights look and whether things look too cramped.
For instance, you should not light each and every tree. Instead, light them sporadically, keeping enough space between the lights to create a spacious, tasteful feel. Too many lights in a yard crowded with trees will seem like a light-bulb mess.
For the trees, you should wrap them in a conical manner. Doing so will create the look of an ornament. If you simply string the lights along whatever branches you can reach, the result will be chaotic and unattractive.
For bushes, strive for straight lines along hedges and conical or spherical wraps around smaller bushes. If you have a fence, repeat the straight lines. If you have a mailbox by the road, you can wrap the pole in a spiral with the box, itself, decorated along the corners and edges.
3. Along the house
Christmas lights are meant to set a festive mood, but they are also intended to highlight the beauty of your home. To best do this, you can line the following portions of your home with lights:
- front door
- front windows
The best way to decorate your home is to use proper spacing. For instance, if your front door is too close to the windows, you can choose to highlight the windows and eaves, leaving the front door dark for the season. That said, few people want an entirely dark front door. The solution for this is to wrap a front-door wreath in lights. Doing so will keep the lights from seeming too close together while also allowing the doorway to be lit and welcoming as you enter.
The best tool to use when attaching lights to your home consists of a light-duty staple gun. A heavy-duty staple gun will do the trick, but it will also be more difficult to remove the staples after the holidays have passed.
That said, if you purchase rubber grommets, your job will be made infinitely easier because the wire can simply pass right through the grommet, which you attach to the house. After the holidays, because the grommets are low profile, you can even remove the wire and leave the grommets. Doing so will ensure you are ready for the following year.
Safety involves two things: the right gear and the right hanging process. In terms of gear, the extension cord should be rated at 14 amps. This type of extension cord can handle a lot of power without heating up. Additionally, it should be long enough to reach the outlet without having to attach another cord.
In terms of process, you should start at the top of your home and work your way down. Doing so will allow the best possible display because if you run out of cord, the primary components of your doors or windows will already be fully draped in lights, and the dark portion will be along the ground. Additionally, the process of working from the top down will allow you to be energetic and fresh as you start out. As you get tired, you will have reached the ground, so there is less chance of you falling.