Festive Home Improvements – Hanging Your Christmas Lights

by Rachel Laurendeau on November 27, 2012

If you celebrate Christmas, and you haven’t gotten around to your outdoor decorating yet, now is the time to get those Christmas lights up and start making the house and yard look more festive. Every year, I wait until it is painfully cold outside to go out and put up my lights and decorations; I highly recommend against this approach.

You’ll want to be careful climbing up to the roof to hang your lights along the gutters; make sure you practice safe ladder techniques. If you feel uncomfortable climbing up to hang the lights yourself, hire a handyman, home improvement contractor or even a professional roofer to take care of it for you.

There are many alternatives to hanging lights along your roofline. Here are a few of our favorites:
• Wrap lights around your outdoor evergreens or even your shrubs. Some people also like to wrap lights around the trunk and branches or their deciduous trees but I’m not really a fan of that look.
• Hang artificial garland that looks like real evergreens along your fence, or along your porch railing, draping it between fenceposts. You can buy plain garland and add a few festive bows or large poinsettia-type flowers or wrap them in mini-lights. You can even buy garland that is prelit, meaning that it has tiny lights already wrapped in.
• Instead of garland, you can string mini-lights along fences or railings for a fairy-light effect.
• Outline your walkways with light stakes, to make your entryway even more inviting. These are basically stakes that are pushed into the ground and then your strand of Christmas lights can be strung along the stakes. You can also use simple solar landscaping lights evenly spaced along the walkway.

Green Tip: using LED lights saves energy, plus, they are very durable and have a longer life than traditional incandescent Christmas bulbs so you won’t have to replace them as often. They are more expensive initially but you should save money in the long run. If you don’t like the cool white/blue given off by white LEDs, you can opt for “warm white” which give off a similar hue to incandescent bulbs.

If you are looking for how-to tips and DIY resources for hanging your lights on your gutters, wrapping them around your trees or calculating how many lights you will actually need, Christmas Lights Etc has an excellent resource page with easy to follow instructions.

Get your lights up early so that you can enjoy them throughout the month of December and contribute to the holiday spirit in your neighborhood!

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