We love Christmas lights, and we love to make the outside of our home look like a little gingerbread house. Of course, the outside décor is completely up to my dear husband, but he always makes it look amazing. Christmas lights can be expensive, and to buy décor for the yard on top of it is outrageously expensive.
No matter your budget, anyone can have an outdoor display worth gawking over if done properly. We have been putting up Christmas lights for about ten years now, and there are many tips we have learned along the way.
Time – I say time because it takes time; however, you can spend less time tangled up in Christmas lights if you come up with a plan of where everything belongs beforehand.
Symmetry – While it is not necessary to keep everything symmetrical, it does create a nice, polished look that ties everything together.
Focal point – If at all possible, make one part of the display your focal point. Having a focal point will help the display stand out among others.
Rails – Always use any rails you might have surrounding the home. If you have a nice front porch or steps leading up to the front door, always make use of them when adding lights/lite garland.
Driveways – Adding lights to outline the driveway will not only help your visitors be able to see where they are driving and/or walking, but it will also make the display look clean, crisp, and organized.
Overload – if it is difficult to look at all of your lights, then you probably has a case of overload. It is possible to have too many displays and lights in one space. These new LED bulbs are very bright, so once again it is always about quality not quantity.
Timers – If you plan on being away from home a lot but still want it to look great, invest in a good timer. A timer will keep the lights from staying on all the time and you can even take it a step further to make lights blink if you would like.
Hanging methods – Instead of using the various plastic clips available, try a hot glue gun if attaching lights to bricks or a stapler for wood. If using a stapler, make sure to avoid putting the staples through the wires.
Colored vs. white – This always seems to be the hardest decision when hanging lights. The rule of thumb is if you are ever in doubt on which color to go with, always go with white. We use colored lights for the actual house and trees and then implement white bulbs in our garland around our garage/doors and display items.
When it comes to having an outdoor light display, even a small one can make a huge impact when done properly. Remember to have a plan, and don’t be afraid to start small and add to it each year. Before you know it, the outdoor display will be large and in charge.
April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.