Where has the time gone? Summer is officially over and before you know it, Christmas will be here. Swingle, the holiday lighting experts in Colorado, are here to provide you with 7 helpful holiday lighting tips to ensure your decorating goes smoothly and safely this year.
7 Lighting Tips for the Holiday Season
1) Use the Right Kind of Holiday Lights
LED (light emitting diodes) and incandescent lights can both create an amazing holiday lighting display. Keep in mind incandescent lights cost more on average, both in energy and lifespan. LED lights have an average life span of 50,000 hours, while incandescent can only last 1,200 hours. LED lights also use less power, 6-8 watts versus 60 watts.
2) When Installing Christmas Lights Practice Safety First
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates there were 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating nationwide in 2012. Always make sure you have someone watching you while you are installing lights, especially when using a ladder on a roof or tall tree. Always remember the following:
- Make sure your ladder is secure on all four legs and locked
- Stay centered and do not overreach or wiggle the ladder in attempts to finish lighting an area
- Face the ladder when climbing up or down – never jump off
3) Inspect your Lights
Strands of holiday lights sit in storage for months on end. Before installation, make sure to test that your lights are fully operational. If the cord is brittle or cracked, make sure to replace them. It’s better to spend money on new lights versus the risk of fire.
4) Check your Electrical Outlets
It’s important to never overload your electrical outlets with over-the-top displays. Lights should always be connected into a ground fault interrupter outlet, which is used outdoors to help reduce the risk of shock and shortage. Be cautious using multiple extension cords to power-up your display. Too many can lead to circuit overload.
Measure where you will be hanging lights to avoid purchasing more than you need. Make sure you determine the nearest electrical outlet and purchase the appropriate length extension cord to power your lights.
6) Use a Timer to Save Money
Have your lights turn on before you get home. Timers are a great way to alleviate the burden of turning your lights on and off, plus they save you money in case you forget to turn them off at night. There are a variety of styles and functions available at any big-box store.
7) Call a Professional Holiday Lights Installer
The holidays are best spent with family and friends, not hanging and repairing Christmas lights. A professional can take care of it all (design and installation), while keeping you safe and warm inside. When hiring a professional installer, make sure you ask them the following questions to prevent issues later on:
- Are they fully insured?
- Are they OSHA compliant and certified?
- Do they use clips/hardware that won’t damage your home?
- Do they have any official design training?
- Will they create a customer lighting plan for your location?
- Will maintenance be provided throughout the season?
- What do they do with the extra lights hanging off your gutter?
- All all bulbs/fixtures LED?
If you plan to light your home this upcoming holiday season, keep these 7 holiday lighting tips in mind to have the most magical and safe holiday season yet!