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As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to think about decorating your home for the celebrations. Colorful Christmas lights give your home a vibrant, festive touch, and they’re a wonderful way to welcome neighbors, family members, and friends. If you’re planning to have guests over this holiday season, it’s also important to make sure that your home is ready to welcome them in style. From decorating your home with lights and décor to getting it guest-ready, this guide contains various helpful tips to make the process easier. Follow these tips, and you’ll have a beautiful holiday home that’s warm and inviting.
Before you start hanging Christmas outdoor lights, it’s important to do a little prep work in advance to ensure success.
Examine your exterior: Take a quick walk around your home and look at areas that could use some lights and a few places that may need a little TLC. Trim overgrown hedges and tree limbs, and make sure that all of the home’s entryways are clear for visitors to enter and exit safely. Repair any cracks in your sidewalk and ensure that your front porch is clean and that all stairs and railings are secure.
Consider every area: As you look at ideas for decoration with lights, consider various areas, including the porch, the front door, walkways, and even the driveway. You can also add sparkling lights to your landscaping by hanging them in trees or shrubs for a festive glow.
Decide on your design: Whatever festive design you like best, think about the main theme and overall look of your holiday decorating before you start. If you need some inspiration, sketch out a few ideas on paper or go online to find others who have decorated their homes in a style you love.
Pick a focal point: Choosing a focal point is a basis for all decorating, including holiday lighting and décor. Whether it’s a large inflatable Santa Claus or a gorgeous wreath, decide what focal point you want to use, then decorate everything around it for a beautiful look.
Popular spots: Here are some popular areas where you can add holiday lights:
o Roofline: Lighting up your roofline is a classic move, so be sure you add strings of lights around at least the front and sides along the roofline of your home.
o Pillars: If your front porch has pillars, consider wrapping some lights around them to create a stunning and festive illuminated touch.
o Around bushes and trees: Recreate your holiday tree outside by hanging lights on and around a few bushes and trees.
o On shutters: You can even add holiday lighting to your shutters if you choose. Attach the lights around the edges of your shutters to create a gingerbread house-inspired look.
o Around railings: Wrap some string lights around the railings in front of your home. Not only will it add a festive glow, but it’s a great way to make things safer for your guests at night.
o Framing windows and doors: Add lights around the frames of your windows and doors for a bright and festive touch.
o On driveways and pathways: Use unique lighting to illuminate walkways or your driveway. You can find a variety of solar stake lights or just string some lights along the edges to brighten things up – just make sure they’re secured to the ground to prevent a trip hazard.
Measure: Before you start your outdoor holiday decorating, you must measure the length of each area you plan to add some lights. This will ensure that you have enough lights to cover the entire area. Don’t forget to consider the distance to a power source such as an exterior electrical outlet. An extension cord can help you gain more length so that everything reaches and covers the whole space you plan to decorate.
Prepare your lights for installation
Now that you have some planning in place, it’s time to prep your lights for installation.
Types of lights: Most holiday lights are either LED or incandescent. Here is some information about the two.
o LED: When it comes to saving money and energy, LED lights are a great option. These long-lasting lights come in a huge range of styles, and they last for years without having to change a lightbulb.
o Incandescent: These classic lights are still in use, but they’re not as popular as more modern LED options. Incandescent lights create a broad-spectrum white light but are often covered in paint to give them a variety of colors when they’re turned on.
Pick a color theme: Do you adore white lights? How about festive colors? Decide on the main color theme before decorating and keep it consistent throughout your home. You can also add other colors with decorations, including metallics like silver and gold, or classic colors like green and red.
Check the lights before displaying them: Before you spend time and energy hanging and displaying your lights, plug each strand in to confirm that they’re working correctly to save you lots of headaches later.
Set up light clips: Light clips hold your Christmas light strands in place, so set them up before hanging your lighting to make the process easier. These clips will keep everything secure, and they also make it easier to set up your template before you hang the lighting.
Set up the electricity source: Make sure you have access to electricity near the areas you plan to decorate. You can use an extension cord or a generator to extend the source, but always make sure everything you use is safe and outdoor rated.
This article was originally posted on Porch.com.