December 16, 2017

Christmas Lighting Installation–Working with the Pros

christ lite install 

Christmas Lights:  Should You Leave this Job to Someone in the Know? 

Using a Christmas lights professional to install Christmas decorations–including Christmas lights–can make the difference between ho-hum holiday décor, and décor that wows everyone who passes your home. And unless you are a real pro at this task, you should probably at least consider hiring a Christmas lights professional to handle your Christmas lighting installation. After all, you wouldn’t call a plumber to mow your lawn, or a doctor to cut your hair, would you? 

Narrowing the Field

The first step to take when engaging a Christmas lights professional is to determine exactly what extent of help you need. Do you already know what you would like your Christmas lights and decorations to look like? In that case, you would  probably do fine with the kind of company that only takes care of Christmas lighting installation jobs, such as hanging Christmas lights. Others provide a wide variety of services, from helping you select lights that suit your taste and budget, to choosing other holiday embellishments, to ensuring that your entire “package” of lights and other Christmas decorations look great together. 

Questions to Ask

Before settling on a specific Christmas lights professional to take over your Christmas lighting installation project, it’s prudent to ask each candidate a variety of questions so that there are no surprises later. For example, does the company provide any sort of guarantee that its team will arrive at your home on time and start hanging Christmas lights according to your agreed-upon design plan? How will the situation be handled should the initial cost estimate prove too low; in other words, will they consult with you to maintain a lid on costs? What happens should Christmas lights and/or Christmas decorations purchased from the company fail; e.g., will the company repair or replace it? And perhaps most important, does the Christmas lights professional have liability and worker’s compensation insurance? 

Other ‘Musts’

It’s also important to remember that a reputable Christmas lights professional doesn’t disappear once a Christmas lighting installation has been completed. Rather, it should have in place a system for responding to follow-up inquiries and calls. The company should also provide, preferably in writing, a date or a range of dates on which it will return to your home to take down the Christmas lights (and Christmas decorations, if applicable) it has installed. Providing you keep these guidelines in mind, dealing with a Christmas lights professional should be a breeze.

Solar–A Novel Approach to Christmas Lighting Installation

Solar Outdoor Lights

Looking for a novel, convenient and energy efficient way to achieve manage your Christmas light displays?  This year consider doing your holiday decorating with solar outdoor lights.

go green with solar string lightsSolar Outdoor lights use a small solar panel that is mounted on a support and pushed into the snow or grass in your yard.  By day, the panel gathers energy, that in the evening hours is used to power your holiday light display.  Using this system will save you plenty on utility bills–enough to boost your  budget for additional holiday gift buying.

The only possible disadvantage you need to be aware of is at times when there are multiple days where little sun is offered.  On such days, the lights will usually still come on but you might need to be prepared for them to be a little less bright than on days offering full sun.  You should also be aware that some sets may appear to have burned out bulbs at times of low sunlight.  Often the problem is simply that they need to recharge in the sun.  Be patient before you give up or think your LED light string set has a problem.

Back on the plus side, using solar lights will allow you to add Christmas light to parkways without laying and taping power cords to the sidewalk. Eliminating this hassle is one of the best reasons there is to go with solar lights.  If you’re like me you find the stringing of light cords over sidewalks to be dangerous for potential tripping and a hazard during snow blowing or snow shoveling.

Unlike traditional Christmas lights, solar Christmas lights use LED bulbs, which although a bit more expensive than conventional bulbs, are more energy efficient. For just this reason the bulbs make a good choice for use with solar power.

LED Solar

LED Solar

LED Solar Garden Sticks

LED Solar Garden Sticks

Bright and clear, the solar light strings also come in a variety of styles, colors and lengths.    As an option you might consider these solar garden sticks–yet another unusual way to decorate for the holidays with solar.  For added excitement, consider purchasing strings that are equipped with a remote control.  Using a remote allows you to put on your own flashing holiday light show.

Check out the solar garden sticks at:  www.mainlandmart.com

Getting The ‘Hang’ of Christmas Lighting Installation

What You Need to Know About Installing Christmas Lights
get the hang of xmas lighting installationChristmas decorations simply aren’t complete without a presentation of beautifully hung holiday lights. But while using a variety of lights to accent your home’s eaves, windows, and shrubbery is a great way to get into the Yuletide spirit, Christmas lighting installation can be tricky unless you know the basic “do’s” and “don’ts” of how to hang Christmas lights.

Getting Started With Outdoor Christmas Decorations

Before you climb a ladder, assemble your materials and tools. You’ll need several strings of Christmas lights, light clips for gutters and shingles, nail-on wire clips, and heavy-duty extension cords, plus a hammer, tape measure and long-nose pliers. To determine how many 50-foot strings of lights you will need, measure the length of the house along the ground, as well as its height and that of any bushes or trees you’re planning to illuminate. Don’t forget to measure any portion of doors and windows around which you also want to position lights. Inspect each light string before plugging it in, replacing broken or missing bulbs. To remove broken bulbs, put on a pair of gloves and use a pair of long-nose pliers. Discard any string with faulty wires. Then, plug in each complete light string and check it for burned-out bulbs. Unplug every string prior to replacing bad bulbs, and re-test to make certain all lights work. If a string does not light up at all, follow the manufacturer’s directions for checking for blown fuses. Replace each blown fuse once; replace the entire string if it blows again.

get the hang of xmas lighting installation 1Stringing ‘em Up–Christmas Lighting Installation

Unless your home’s eaves are very low–in which case, a stepladder may suffice–position an extension ladder firmly on flat ground and against the eaves. The ladder should extend beyond the eaves and be set at a comfortable, safe climbing angle. If you absolutely must lean the ladder against a gutter, reinforce the gutter with a short piece of 2-by-4. Hang lights easily and safely without ruining your home’s trim and walls by using specially made plastic clips to attach the strings along your gutters and roof. The clips grip shingles and gutters; their lower hooks hold light strings and extension cords alike. To attach lights to window trim or other vertical surfaces, use tube light or nail-on plastic clips spaced 12 inches apart. You can buy these clips at any home improvement center. Avoid stapling or nailing light strips to trim, as both staples and nails can perforate or erode the protective insulation, causing a fire hazard.

get the hang of xmas lighting installation 2Calling In The Pros–Christmas Lights Professional

Don’t have the time and/or patience to hang holiday Christmas lights yourself? Prefer not to agonize over why a string of lights way up along the roof line of your home just isn’t lighting up? Consider hiring a Christmas lights professional. Some companies handle only the Christmas lighting installation piece of the business, which is fine if you already have a specific idea of what you would like your lighting scheme to look like. Others offer a comprehensive menu of design services and will work with you to create a lighting configuration to perfectly complement your other Christmas decorations. But whether you hang your own lights or call in the pros, make beautifully hung lights a part of your holiday décor.