Tips on How to Hang Your Christmas Lights
Holiday lights take time, effort and planning. There’s no way around that. But if you’re going to do it, here are some tips and tricks to help ensure that your lights are festive and safe this holiday season.
Outlets: You want to plug your lights into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). This outlet is designed to shut off the power when it detects a current flowing along an unintended path. This feature helps prevent electrical shock and house fires. You can recognize these outlets because they have a “test” button on them.
Extension cords: Check that your extension cords are UL certified for how you are planning to use them. You’ll especially want to look at whether they are for indoor or outdoor use.
Light strings: Replace any light strings with damaged or frayed installation. At this time, you’ll also want to check if your light strings are UL certified. Indoor lights will have a green UL tag or a silver tag with “UL” in green. Outdoor lights will have a red UL tag or a silver tag with “UL” written in red.
Recycle old lights: Local recycling facilities will many times take your old light strings. Check with your local recycling facility before tossing your old, nonworking lights in the trash.
Indoor lights: The outlets in your home should be able to support the small number of lights needed for a traditional Christmas tree.
Tip: Your electrical system should be checked on a yearly basis.
Ladders: Before you step on the ladder, inspect it for damage or cracks. Then check that it’s UL certified and can support your weight.
Connected light strings: While it might seem efficient or be easier to string a bunch of lights together. The first string will be carrying a heavier electrical load and can get overloaded and start to melt.
Hanging materials: Avoid using metal objects, such as staples or nails, when hanging your holiday lights. These materials can dig into cord insulation and trip the GFCI outlet, causing your lights to go dark.
Timers: Use a timer because it can save you time and money. You can program the lights to turn on and off automatically and not run all night. on it.
Lights: When it comes to lights, LED lights are the way to go. “They can cost three to eight times more than regular incandescent bulbs, but they are more efficient, more durable and last longer.
Extras: Figurines and silhouette displays have increased in popularity during the past three holiday seasons. These additions are great for areas of your home that don’t have any trees or places to naturally hang lights. “They also give your home a little more personality.
The future of lights: While not common on residential buildings quite yet, Stephens has worked with businesses to install lights that are more permanent and custom.
Light clips: If you’re looking for crisp, clean lines and lights that all face the same direction, invest in light clips. You can find light clips for all types of light sizes, and clips that latch onto gutters, railings and even shingles. By using light clips, your light lines will appear smooth and purposeful.
Don’t use: As noted earlier, avoid metal hanging hardware, as it can cut into the light string’s insulation and cause the outlet to trip.
Zip ties: Use zip ties to secure lights and greenery to railings or poles. Stephens says local hardware stores offer zip ties in many colors and sizes, so find an option that will best blend into your holiday decor and home.
Wreath lighting: Avoid cords hanging from your wreath by using battery-operated lights. While this solution removes dangling cords around the doorway.
Tree lighting: Avoid trying to swirl lights around the canopy of a large outdoor tree. Start at the top and evenly distribute the lights, but do it in a random pattern. You also don’t need to cover every inch of the tree; leave plenty of open space between the lights.plenty and will still look great.
Extension cord tips: To get lights to your tree, you’ll most likely need an extension cord. Besides electrical capacity and safety considerations. You can find green cords to run between the grass and sidewalk, or brown cords that camouflage into paths. You can also keep cords out of sight more by running them around the back of the house or up the back of the house to the roof, depending on your power-source needs.
Nova Homes of South Florida wishes everyone a safe and fun home decorating experience. For information about Nova Homes please call 239.307.6116 or visit www.novahomesbuilder.com. Nova Homes of South Florida is building building beautiful custom homes in Naples, Marco Island, Isles of Capri, and Golden Gate Estates.