Installing Christmas lights is a fun, festive project that can transform your home into an illuminated holiday display. Before beginning the job, lay out all strands of lights in your garage or other dry place and untangle them; test for burnt-out bulbs. Read on for some ideas.
Take a walk around the neighborhood to see how other homes are decorated and get ideas for your own.
Start With a Plan
If you’re installing Christmas lights, it’s a good idea to start with a plan. This will help you avoid making unnecessary trips to the hardware store and ensure that all of your necessary supplies are on hand when it’s time to hang the lights.
Start by taking a look at your house from the street or sidewalk and figuring out how you want the lights to be positioned. For example, do you want to highlight architectural features like eaves and windows? Or maybe you want to wind the lights around trees and bushes. Then consider what kind of effect you’re looking for–do you want white lights that are classic and traditional or colorful lights that add a fun, festive touch?
You’ll also need to think about what tools you’ll need and if you’ll need additional supplies, such as clips and attachment accessories. For safety reasons, it’s a good idea to wear closed-toe shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when working with electrical wires.
Get the Right Tools
Christmas lights come in a variety of colors and styles, allowing you to create a look that’s perfect for your home. You can find a large selection of commercial Christmas bulbs and cords at stores like Walmart to fit your vision. There are also a variety of lights that are made specifically for outdoor use to resist moisture and other weather-related issues.
Before climbing up on your ladder to install the lights, make sure you have the right tools for the job. Grab a ladder-safe clip tool that fits the type of clips your light strands will need to be attached to gutters, shingles, railings, and rooflines. You should also consider picking up a pack of zip ties to add an extra layer of security against winter winds, snow, and other weather-related issues.
You may also want to invest in a few extension cords for your lighting project, but be careful to match the amperage of the cord to the power requirements of your light strings. Once you’re satisfied that your installation looks good, terminate any remaining electrical connections at the end of each string by wrapping them with electrical tape or installing waterproof wire caps.
Make Sure the Lights Are Safe
Before you haul out the ladder and untangle the light strands from last year, check your lights for burned-out bulbs. Replace them before you start hanging the lights to avoid a faulty light set that can lead to electrical fires or injuries. It’s best to do this the week before you plan to hang the lights, so you have time to buy replacement bulbs and prepare your ladder.
Metal ladders can conduct electricity, so choose a wooden or fiberglass ladder to use with your Christmas lights. Also, make sure the ladder is positioned securely against your house and doesn’t have cracks or gaps where it could fall.
If you’re using a power strip to plug your lights into, make sure it has a GFCI outlet that protects you from electric shock. You can find these outlets at most hardware stores. Alternatively, purchase an outdoor-rated extension cord to prevent overloading your home’s outlets. It’s also important to keep flammable items like paper decorations and curtains away from your lights.
Automate the Lights
You’ve probably seen videos of houses decked out with lights that blink in time to music. It’s a lot of work to create a display this intricate, and it takes specialized lighting equipment. But you can get a lot of the same effects with smart plugs and Home Assistant.
With smart plugs, you can program the lights to turn on and off at specific times of the day or when motion is detected in your yard. You can also use the software to control how the lights react to the sun and what type of show they put on.
Permanent Christmas lights provide many benefits, including convenience, energy efficiency, customization, and increased home value. They also eliminate the need for annual setup and takedown. Contact AIS to learn more about the benefits of automated holiday lights for your home. Check this helpful information.