The Safe and Efficient Way to Put Up Lights this Holiday

When the holidays come around many people such as your family and close friends will see the interior of your home. However, everyone will see the exterior of your house and how you decorate it. You should be proud of your home and want to show it off with decorative lights and ornaments.

There are many things to consider when safely and efficiently putting up lights this holiday. To begin, always plan thoroughly before you start the project.  For those who are extremely excited about the holidays, sometimes we get too far ahead of ourselves and spend more time and money than is actually needed to properly decorate our home. When planning to hang up your lights, some popular spots include: along the rooflines, atop bushes or trees, around pillars and posts, around windows or door frames, and around focal points in your yard, or as focal points themselves. To increase the efficiency of putting up lights this holiday, measure everything you want to adorn with light. Remember to include the distance from the decorating site to your outdoor or indoor power sources. When it comes to decorating trees and shrubs with lights, the amount you choose to use is totally up to you. Some prefer the tree or bush completely covered whereas others do not. A good rule of thumb to remember when you want to adorn your trees or bushes with lights is to use 100 lights for every 1-1/2 feet of tree or bush you wish to cover. Once you’ve calculated what you will need, you can save money by renting the extension chords and latters so they don’t take up room and hassle you after the holiday season.

Once you have determined a plan for how you wish to hang your lights you need to decide which type of bulb you wish to use. There are two kinds; incandescent mini lights and LED lights. The incandescent mini lights are less expensive, available in multiple lengths, and produce a warm glow. LED lights are a much newer option, but give of a bright white light that is a cool touch. Additionally, LEDs are more expensive, but will save you money in the long run because they are 90% more energy efficient and last longer than incandescent bulbs.

When putting up lights the safe way, begin by installing fasteners or holders prior to hanging the lights and extension cords. Space your fasteners uniformly and try to avoid using metallic fasteners or nails because they are conductors of electricity and tend to rust which can cause damage to your home. There are rubber, or heavy-duty plastic fasteners designed to hang lights and other electrical cords. Be sure to hang and install fasteners and holders completely before you hang your lights.  When hanging the lights, start at the power source and follow the fasteners or holders to the end of the project. Be sure to hang one string before you plug in the next. Cutting corners by plugging all the lights together can be dangerous and can cause entanglement of the lights.  

To increase safety, attempt to hang the lights during the daylight and work with a helper.  This will make installation more safe and efficient. Once you are finished, plug the lights in, hit the switch, and enjoy the holidays.