Outdoor Lighting Tips For The Holidays

Elevate your holiday home décor with a touch of creativity and preparation. While anyone can hang outdoor lights, these simple tips will help you take your festive décor to the next level.

Plan It Out
Before you start decorating, plan out where you want them to go. Consider the design of your house, trees, bushes and any features you want to highlight. Since trees grow and your landscape changes every year what you did in the past may not be the right plan for this season. Don’t forget to map out your power sources and plan your lights accordingly.

You may have the perfect tree or accent for your holiday decorating

Inspect Your Lights
Make sure all your lights are in good working condition; untangle them before hanging. If you store your lights outside, bring them in to warm up, it makes untangling easier. Need to buy new ones? Invest in outdoor-rated lights that are specifically designed for what you’d like to accomplish. Choose outdoor-rated extension cords in a colour that matches your winter landscape.

Inspect your lights before using, make sure they’re in good condition and meant for outdoor use

Preparation Is Key
Before you begin, gather all the necessary tools and equipment. Extension cords, clips, hooks, hangers and power stakes are handy for extending your decorating area. Be sure to have a safe sturdy ladder and always have a helper to hold it steady. Make sure you set the ladder on flat, level ground and resist the temptation to lean out and reach too far. Always be cautious of overhead wires and keep clear of electrical lines.

Safety first when hanging your lights

Work In Sections
Break down the project into smaller sections to manage the process better. Starting closest to your power outlet and working out from there ensures a streamlined connection when you’re done. Space out your lighting. Strategically placed, you can create your desired effect with less lighting.

Do one area at a time when creating your look

Try Something Different
Here are some fresh ideas for hanging Christmas lights:

  • Classic Outline: Highlight the architectural features of your home by outlining the roof, windows, and doors with lights. Use a single colour for a classic look or mix it up with multi-coloured strands.
  • Tree Trunk Wrap: Wrap the trunk of your outdoor trees with lights to create a magical effect.
  • Net Lights: These are perfect for bushes and shrubs. They’re easy to install and cover a large area uniformly.
  • Icicle Lights: Hang these along the edges of your roofline to simulate the look of icicles. Here are some more tips for a successful icicle light display.
  • Wrap It Up: For extra flair, wrap up columns and railings, even your door frame, with lit garland. It looks magical after a snowfall.
  • DIY Lighted Balls: Use chicken wire or wire mesh to create large balls and wrap them with lights. Hang these in trees or around your yard for a memorable display, similar to the above photo. Here’s how.
  • Backlit Shapes: Cut out holiday shapes (like snowflakes, reindeer, or a tree) from wood, add a stake then add twinkle lights around the perimeter of the back of the shape for a striking effect.
  • Festive Containers: Create an elegant container and add some lights for a warm holiday welcome.
  • Lighted Pathways: Practical and visually appealing: line your walkways with stakes topped with lights. There are many solar lights that work well, just be sure they don’t get covered by snow.

Wrapped trunk and icicle lights were used to create this unique effect

Turning it On
Solar lighting is convenient; however, selection can be limited and you need to make sure the light sensors don’t get covered with snow. Timers can automate your lights, turning them on and off at specific times. Smart lights can be controlled remotely through an app, giving you flexibility and convenience. Always remember to switch them off when you’re not around or when going to bed.

Don’t be afraid to try different designs or techniques. Experimenting with different light patterns or colors can create a unique and festive display. For more outdoor holiday lighting ideas, have a look at our Pinterest board for inspiration.
Just remember, safety first! Pick the right day, follow safety guidelines, take your time and enjoy the process of making your home festive.

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