Every year, houses across the nation celebrate Christmas with glorious light displays. Of course, those lights don’t hang themselves. If you’ve been looking at the elaborate displays of others while wishing that you could hang your own decorative lights, pay attention to the guide below as we walk you through the basics of light hanging.
The first step toward putting together a great Christmas light display is to plan. Do you want to hang up an extensive display covering every internal and external surface? Or do you want a well-lit tree and maybe a window or two? Before you even buy a single strand, you’ll want to measure the area you’re planning to display them in to make sure you know how many strands to buy and how long they should be. You should also consider how the lights will fit in with other elements of your seasonal decoration; too many lights can easily overwhelm a small nativity or other lawn or roof decoration.
Hanging Christmas lights is not really a complicated act of home maintenance, but you’ll still need a few tools. How many and what kinds you need will vary based on how and where you are hanging the lights. If you’re just stringing a strand around the tree, you can probably make do without any tools at all. Hanging a strand over the windows is going to take a surface to hang them from; if one does not exist, a hammer and nails can make one for you. If you plan to climb high up, be sure you have a ladder tall enough for the task. Needle nose pliers make extracting a dead bulb a snap.
You might think Christmas lights are all of a uniform type, but a quick look around a website like Christmas Lights Etc will soon change your mind. Christmas lights are distinguished by bulb types, with most modern lights available in either incandescent or LED versions. LEDs are more expensive than the older-style incandescents but last a lot longer and use less energy, providing a long-term savings for a higher initial investment. Beyond type of bulb, you can also choose between plain white and colored Christmas light strings and between regular strands and the popular icicle alternatives.
While hanging lights isn’t always the hardest task, several possible mishaps could occur, and you need to prepare for them. Lights run on electricity, which means being sure that the path to the outlet is free of obstructions and hazards and that the cord stays out of the walkways of your house. If you are using a ladder, be sure it is fully engaged and safe to stand on before you set foot on it. Moreover, if you are working outside, watch for winter weather conditions that could make your driveway or roof slippery. If conditions aren’t good, wait for better weather in which to work.
Hanging Christmas lights is a fun and festive way to let the neighborhood know you are in the holiday spirit. Pick up a string of your favorites today!