Exterior Holiday Lighting Tips
Thanksgiving has just passed and it’s on to the next holiday! Have you started decorating for Christmas yet? Don’t be daunted by the task of exterior holiday lighting. It adds such festivity and warmth this time of year. Here are some tips to help things go smoothly:
Tools and Materials:
Timer and lighting controls
Outdoor string lights
Design and Measure
Decide on your light design and make a rough diagram. Things to consider are the colors you want to use, the size of lights and type of lights. There are many choices available. Just make sure lights are approved for outdoor use. Next measure the length and height of your home and the outline of any doors and windows to determine how many light strings you will need. Working with shorter light strands is actually easier if you need to replace a defective string once hung. Use "string to string" styles that include a male plug on one end and a female receptacle on the other for easier installation. Remember to test lights first and replace fuses or non-working bulbs.
Install grounded, outdoor outlets to make powering your lights easier and safer. Use good-sense precautions when using a ladder to hang lights. Move the ladder instead of over-reaching, stay off the top step, and have the help of a spotter to steady the ladder as needed. Use plastic clips that snap into eaves and gutters or nail into wood trim. Never staple or nail lights in place as this can cause an electrical hazard. And once again, use only outdoor approved lights.
Take Down and Storage
This step is not as fun, but it will make things easier for next year. Take time to inspect light strings and remove all burnt or broken bulbs from strands before storing. Wrap lights around the outside of their box and protect them by wrapping with newspaper or tissue paper. Dispose of non-working strings. Finally, store all your outdoor lights and supplies together in clearly labeled containers. Now you are set for next year!
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