December 18, 2017

Have Fun With Your Holiday Lighting Installation

 

Creative Holiday Decorating–Easier Than You Think  

It’s almost holiday lighting installation time! This year, why not try your hand at some creative holiday decorating? It’s not difficult once you think about how many different types of lights there are, and how many different “twists” on using them there might be.  

Icchristmas sculptureicle Lights: Not Just For Roofs Anymore

Icicle lights that look like the real thing have become a very popular part of holiday lighting installation for many consumers. Not only do they look pretty; they’re a breeze to install.

But don’t just hang these underneath your home’s roof line and call it “creative holiday decorating”! Outdoors, try stringing together multiple strings of icicle lights and spreading them across an expanse of your front porch railing or shrubbery, or wrapping them around front porch columns and/or banisters. Mixing various colors of icicle lights is another option, both outdoors and indoors. Speaking of innovative holiday lighting installation indoors, consider accenting the inside of a large living room window or the top of a door with a sweep of icicle lights, devising window “curtains” made of light strings or weaving icicle lights and garland together to decorate a banister.  

On A Rope

If you’re like a majority of consumers, the only part rope lights play in your holiday lighting installation plan is as an accent for Christmas trees, outdoor railings, and fences. But, there’s more to it than that! The light PVC material from which rope lights are manufactured makes them very flexible, so try to put together an interesting assortment of ready-made Christmas rope light sculptures. You might also take advantage of the availability of rope lights in a range of colors–green, red and white as well as less traditional shades like blue and pink–to give a distinctive look to your Yuletide décor. And while rope lights can be configured to give off “steady” light, it’s fun–and a good creative holiday decorating practice–to experiment with the various “flashing” effects you can set using a controller.  

Beyond the Yard and Living Room

Who says holiday lighting installation has to be limited to landscapes and living rooms? Other rooms benefit just as much from creative holiday decorating based on illumination. Use Christmas lights to line the ceilings in your rooms. Buy and decorate mini-Christmas trees to put in the bedrooms–making them part of a larger holiday vignettes if desired. For added interest, try different bulb shapes. So forget the “same-old, same-old” holiday decorations. With the versatility of today/s lighting options, the sky’s the limit.

The Very Basics of DIY Outdoor Christmas Lights

 

 Lighting the Trees–

 xmas house

Probably most everyone would agree that Christmas lighting for the trees in your yard and adjacent parkway (if you have one) is a terrific idea.  But if you’ve never done this before, just how as a “newbie” do you execute this task?  Although it looks quite foolproof, as if anyone could do it, it’s helpful to have some tried and true tips.  First of all come up with a plan for what you would like the outdoor tree lights to look like.  Then if you will be decorating coniferous trees (those are the pine) select C7 and C9 Christmas light strings.  These bulbs are the old standard light bulbs that come in colors.  The C7 are the smaller ones and the C9 are the larger ones.  Unless the tree is very small, consider using the larger bulbs for a brighter tree with more visual appeal.

 For deciduous trees (those are the ones that have lost their leaves for winter), we recommend mini Christmas lights.  These are the little white Christmas lights that you’ve probably seen around on trees for years.  In fact, they are so popular they are used on many trees year round.  Among the notable establishments to use them is at New York’s Central Park eatery, Tavern on the Green. 

These little white lights lend themselves to the slender branches of this type of tree.  Yet other good choices for a deciduous tree are variations on the theme of little white lights.  Consider icicle lights, the cascading droplets of white lights.  These can also be purchased in various colors, such a green, purple, pink and blue holiday lights.  Various other icons are available in the icicle format.  We’ve seen plenty of stars and snowflakes, and sometimes even more unusual choices like candy canes, Santas and candles.

 

Lighting the House–

When it comes to lighting your house, any of the above mentioned bulbs can be used successfully.  In order to hang them from gutters or around eaves and windows, you might want to consider purchasing some holiday lighting clips which will make the whole process easier.

 Lighting Everything Else–Some other products you might consider trying are net lights and rope lights.  Net lights have bulbs which are attached to a net which you simply drape over a bush.  The benefit of a net is a nice uniform distribution of lights with a minimum of hassle.  Rope lights consist of a string of holiday lights encased in a plastic tube.  These work well for decorating fences, windows, stair railings and doorways.  Available in “always on” or pre-set blinking  patterns, rope lights are typically sold by the foot.  Spotlights are yet another commonly used light for Christmas decorating.  They are used to draw attention to a particular area of interest in the yard.  Trees, wreaths, doors, windows and interesting displays in the yard are often highlighted by using spots.  Another favorite of ours is to use spots for uplighting trees.  With this technique the light is placed on the ground a distance in front of the tree and pointed slightly upward. This method allows one to create a dynamic effect against the wintry, night sky.

As you plan for the holiday tap into these simply ideas and be ready with your creativity.  You’re sure to come up with some eye-popping holiday designs to spruce up the yard around your home.

Landscape Lighting: A Wealth of Options

Landscape Lighting A Wealth of OptionsUse many different types of lighting to decorate your yard this holiday season

It’s no secret that consumers are becoming more and more creative when it comes to decorating the interior of their homes for Christmas. Of course, with the wide range of products, you just can’t miss. But jazzing up your yard to make the holiday season all the more merry and bright can be just as easy, given the selection of landscape lighting options to be found in brick-and-mortar stores and online. Here are a few choices to consider.

Landscape Lighting A Wealth of Options 1Tying In Rope Lights

Long a popular choice for landscape lighting due to their versatility, rope lights are decorative light ropes manufactured using clear PVC tubing. The light material is very flexible, allowing it to be formed into a multitude of shapes and cut in regular increments. Rope lights can be set to provide steady lighting or “flashing” effects via a controller. Available in a variety of colors, rope lights make a great focal point when wrapped around outdoor Christmas trees and can also be used on railings, fences, and the like.

Landscape Lighting A Wealth of Options 2Taking A Shine To Icicle Lights

Icicle lights have also become a top choice for Christmas landscape lighting because of their distinctive appearance. As their name suggests, icicle lights look like the real thing. In addition to the traditional icicle shape, they come in other shapes, such as snowflake and star. Not all icicle lights are white: Many manufacturers now offer icicle lights in a palette of colors that includes pink, blue, purple, and green. Some companies also design their icicle lights with clips that attach the bulbs to the wire, ensuring that the latter point downward for the best look and easy setup. Icicle lights look beautiful when dangled from eaves, decks, gutters, fences, or rails.

Landscape Lighting A Wealth of Options 3Snazzing It Up With Sculptures

Crafted from plastic, light sculptures can be used as the “centerpiece” of a landscape lighting design, as well as to flank outdoor Christmas trees. Most light sculptures come in a flat version, a majority of which comprise frames embellished with light strings. Many people like to decorate these with garland. A few companies have also introduced three-dimensional light sculptures in such motifs as snowflakes, deer and reindeer; some animal light sculptures feature moving heads powered by a motor. You can leave your three-dimensional light sculptures bare-framed, or make them even more festive by draping them with garland or looping/weaving through plastic cord. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Adapt Your Landscape Lighting to the Holidays

Landscape lighting is a beautiful addition to your home that will pay off year round.  Even at Christmastime, you can, with very little effort add simple touches to make it special for the holiday season.  You could choose to add colored bulbs, adjust your spotlights or add wreath lighting and maybe even a few icicle lights. The investment in landscape lighting seems far less daunting when you consider that it can make the process of Christmas lighting outside much easier.

Combining new or existing landscape lighting with a variety of holiday decorating ideas can allow you to get “double-duty” out of your landscape lighting.  Opt for adding holiday color and additional lights to your yard, adapt your current landscape lighting or select creative products for an unusual combination that sure to marvel your neighbors.

Step back in Time–Combine Candlelight with Your Landscape Lighting and Outside Christmas Lights

Adapt Your landscape Lighting to the HolidaysOne stunning way to combine landscape lighting with your creativity is to take it back in time and make it more nostalgic by mixing your existing landscape lighting with candle light.  To make Christmas Eve very special, you could consider adding candlelight luminaries to your yard. A common practice in some east coast communities, lit votive candles are placed in lunch-size paper bags, so they can light the walkways as guests proceed to homes before and after Christmas Eve services.  An elegant custom, symbolically the candles are said to “light the path of the coming Christ  Child”.

Christmas Lighting Outside–Luminaries-to-Go

Adapt Your landscape Lighting to the Holidays 1Should you not have the time to assemble these yourself various manufacturers have begun producing kits with everything that you need to add this custom to your community.  In some cases the bags are even die-cut with design such as stars, angels, snowmen and Christmas trees.  These luminaries aren’t your only candle lighting option.  In addition to the usual Christmas lighting outside, other candle choices include Mexican tin candle holders and even Chinese lanterns.  The key to using them safely and effectively is to weight them with stones and only put them out on nights when it is not snowing.

To find out more about landscape lighting that easily adapts to the holidays check out: www.holiday-concepts.il.com

Christmas Luminaries are available for purchase at the following sites:

www.flicLuminaries.com

www.lumabase.com

www.simplyluminaries.com

Christmas Decorating With Icicle Lights

Icicle Lights–an All-American Trend

Icicle lights are one of the more recent trends in the category of Christmas lighting.  Evoking the wintry cascade of icicles, these holiday lights have been widely used all around the country.  When planning your Christmas decorating you’ll want to include plenty of icicle lights.

Important Considerations for Holiday Lights

Contribute to the environment by using energy efficient xmas lightA few simple considerations will help your Christmas lighting project go smoothly.  Before you begin hanging your lights, formulate a plan.  Icicle lights are especially conducive to use along the roof line where they simulate the effect of winter’s own icicles.  Other good uses for icicle lights are placing across the tops of windows or affixing them to the branches of trees–all places where Mother Nature herself would place her own icicles.  Resist the temptation to place icicle lights in places where they would never accumulate naturally.  Doing so just looks silly.

Using Holiday Lights Safely
xmas decorating with Icicle lightsWhen shopping for holiday lights be sure to look for the UL (Under Writer’s Laboratory) rating.  This is a fairly good indicator that the lights have been manufactured according to safety standards that will not pose a hazard for you or your home.  When selecting lights for your Christmas decorating project be sure to purchase the right type of lights for the job.

Use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights for outdoor applications.  Using holiday lights in the incorrect application can pose a danger and adversely affect the longevity of your Christmas decorations. Outdoor lights are designed to stand up to harsh outdoor weather conditions, while some lights are designed specifically for indoor use such as on trees.

A final suggestion is to consider a timer for managing your display of Christmas lighting.  Timers allow you to program the hours you wish your display to be actively lit and save you the hassle of turning lights on and off.  Timers are available for both indoor and outdoor applications, so choose the one that best meets the requirements of your Christmas decorating display.

LED xmas lights make holiday decorating greener 4

Outdoor Christmas Decorations–The Lure of Icicle Lights

outdoor xmas decorations the lure of Icide lights

Icicle Lights–One of the Most Popular Choices for Holiday Decorating

In recent years one of the most popular outdoor Christmas decorations has been icicle lights.  Originally available as incandescent lights, in recent years a small but growing number of these  lights are being sold as LED icicle lights.  A number of factors have been driving the high level of interest in this product.  Of the various reasons consumers opt for this product one of the most compelling is energy savings and the resulting decrease in the typical holiday time electricity bill.

What You Should Know about Purchasing LED String Lights

The biggest concern we initially heard was the additional investment required when opting for LED string lights over the more conventional incandescent Christmas lighting.  But with the resultant cost savings, many individuals were happy to make this initial sacrifice in return for the anticipated conservation of electricity.

Inherent in the selection process was the assumption that the LED icicle lights would be long lasting.  Purchasers anticipated using their string of cascading icicle lights for years to come.

Unfortunately for many who invested in this style of Christmas lighting, the years of use were not to be.   Many of the lights were manufactured with exposed steel wire which is not designed to hold up to the frequently cold and icy conditions that they were to be used in.

The biggest complaint noted was rusted wires on bulbs that prevented lights from operating when they were removed from storage for use the second year. Purchasing replacement bulbs for these light strings was more costly than purchasing traditional incandescent Christmas light bulbs.

The Key to Buying Long Lasting LED Icicle Lights

How can you avoid this problem?  Fortunately many manufacturers have finally caught this error. If you select carefully and rely on a reputable vender, you can greatly improve your chances of selecting truly long-lasting LED icicle lights.

Whether in your local discount store or when meeting with a professional installer look for strings where the lights are encased in a protective plastic.  In a recent check of light strings, GE was offering LED lights that were manufactured in this manner.  Keep in mind that the bulbs are often exposed to the elements, so purchasing strings with covered wires will add to the longevity of the decorations you select. For additional information on high quality LED icicle lights and other options in LED string lights you might want to consult a reliable and knowledgeable

vendor such as www.holiday-concepts-il.com or www.hclights.com.

Holiday Organization: Storing those Pesky Little Icicle Lights

Have you joined the holiday trend of draping your home in beautiful, cascading icicle lights?   If you have, then you know the holiday fun is really over when it’s time to take them down and store them for next year.   Wrapping, bagging, twisting, turning or balling them up– finding a way to store holiday icicle lights is a real challenge.  If hanging the holiday lights is your job for next winter, you have a vested interest in getting them put away right.

How to Keep Icicle Lights Tangle-Free

holiday organization storing those pesky little icide lightsKeeping icicle lights tangle-free doesn’t have to be impossible.  A variety of methods are available to help make storage of these outdoor xmas lights easier.  One suggestion is laying your light strings out on plastic sheets, then taping them in place so the icicles don’t tangle.  Once taped down, you simply roll the plastic sheets up and secure them for storage.  Yet another method is to wrap your icicle lights around a plastic frame such as those that extension cords are sold on.  This type of frame is also often seen in fabric and hobby stores.  Ribbon and trimmings are often displayed on them. If you’re a crafter and can get your regular store to throw in the plastic frame, you’re in luck with your Xmas icicle lights!

Eliminate the Hassle of Ever Storing Your Holiday Lights Again

holiday organization storing those pesky little icide lights 1An even better idea is to get someone to handle your holiday lighting display for you.  Many companies around the country are now offering the service of designing, hanging, and even wrapping and storing your holiday lighting display for you.  To see what these companies have to offer try checking out some of these sites. They’re all highly professional residential and commercial holiday lighting contractors.

www.holiday-concepts-il.com,

www.luminariaslimited.com

www.christmasdecor.net.

Low Priced Icicle Light Alternatives for the Do-It-Yourselfer

If you think hiring a firm to manage your holiday lights is taking it just a step too far, you might consider mimicking what they do with icicle lights.  Many of these professional lighting experts offer icicle lights that are permanently attached to metal frames.  If you’re handy, you might consider attaching your own icicle lights to metal or even wooden slats for easier and permanent display and storage.  Icicle lights can be wrapped around slats and affixed with thin gauge wire or carefully stapled to strips of wood.   Whatever method you choose, based on how much time, money and effort you’re willing to invest, you’re sure to have an eye popping display this upcoming holiday season.

Wrap Your Home in Icicle Lights this Christmas

Icicle Lights Evoke Winter Memories Anywhere

wrap your home in Icide lights this xmasDangling icicle lights that emulate the real thing have been an American staple for the past decade.  One of many types of outdoor Christmas lights, cascading white icicle lights have enabled people to create their own private icy winter wonderland regardless of whether they live in the snow belt or in parts of the country where they will never, ever see a single snowflake.

Expanded Variety thanks to LED Icicle Lights

wrap your home in Icide lights this xmas 1Did you know that the typical little white icicle lights are far from the only choice in this category?  In the last few years these icicle lights have evolved into a whole new generation of colorful LED lights in a variety of shapes and sizes.  These days you can opt for icicle lights composed of a multitude of little snowflakes or even little stars.

On top of that you can select LED icicle lights in a variety of tempting colors to complement a color-coordinated display of outdoor Christmas lights.  Color choices are potentially endless but in addition to white, red and green, unusual color schemes with purple and even blue Christmas lights are showing up nationwide.

Opt for Energy Savings With LED Lights for your Outdoor Christmas Lighting

Eye-popping and unusual, the newer LED lights can cost a fair amount more than traditional incandescent outdoor Christmas lights.  But with reported energy savings of up to 88%, these new little LED lights have garnered plenty of attention and sold well.

wrap your home in Icide lights this xmas 2So, as you plan your outdoor Christmas lights for the coming year, don’t be afraid to venture into something just a bit different.  Experiment with unusual, non-traditional colors, and add variety to your display by considering some of the new shapes and designs that will be arriving in local stores this fall.  Christmas in America is not just little white icicle lights any more.