January 18, 2019

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.

Brighten the Holiday with Outdoor Tree Lights

Radiate Warmth And Cheer With Festive Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting can help brighten the holidays for all who visit or pass by.  When planning the holiday landscape lighting, don’t forget the outdoor tree lights, shrubbery, buildings, and yard decorations.  The many lights available to illuminate your landscape lighting include string lights, rope lights, icicle lights, and novelty lights.  String lights and novelty lights are great outdoor tree lights.  String lights, rope lights, and icicle lights are perfect for shrubbery and buildings.  Yard decorations can be lit by all forms of Christmas lights.  Landscape lighting looks best when planned in advance taking care to balance out colors and symmetry and identifying a focal point.  Color schemes look best when deciding to use all multi-colored lights or monochromatic lights.  The monochromatic white color scheme has been popular in landscape lighting during recent years.  Done properly, both warm and cool white colors can be blended in landscape lighting to make an especially attractive display.  Don’t ignore symmetry in planning.  Landscape lighting looks best when lighting all areas of the yard and keeping in mind both horizontal and vertical placement.  Novelty yard decorations, like a nativity scene, make a good focal point.  Landscape lighting will help make the holidays more festive and joyful.

Illuminate The Neighborhood With Outdoor Tree Lighting

Holiday tree lighting has been a popular Christmas tradition for more than a century.  At one time, people illuminated their indoor treesoutdoor tree with candles.  Flammability issues limited the amount of time people could enjoy this.  Typically the tree was decorated and lit for only a day or two.  The introduction of electric string lights in the late 19th century allowed people to enjoy their tree lighting longer.  As the indoor tree lighting tradition continued, people started to illuminate their outdoor trees.  Today, outdoor tree lighting can be found in many neighborhoods.  There are many more choices of indoor and outdoor tree lighting available today than there was years ago.  In addition to traditional electric string lighting, there are more energy efficient LED lighting and non-electric solar lighting.  Both options cost a little more up front but, in the long run, are more cost efficient.  Novelty shapes like Starlight Spheres or Snowflakes can be particularly festive outdoor tree lighting.  The beauty and splendor of decorating for the holidays with tree lighting makes a very special time of year filled with fun, hoopla, and warm tender moments with people we care about.

Brighten The Holidays With Festive Lighting

Share season’s greetings with family, friends, and neighbors by means of festive lighting.  Festive lighting can make the holidays more enjoyable with feelings of increased energy and joyful mood.  The holidays are about peaceful reflection and are a time to spend with family and friends.  Festive lighting can make the season more special by creating a peaceful, reflective mood with dim soft lights or by creating a vibrant party mood with bright twinkling lights.  Festive lighting can be created by lighting trees, shrubs, and buildings, arranging luminaries along walking paths, hanging lit ornaments, lighting indoor trees, lighting garland that is draped on mantles and banisters, spotlighting special decorations, grouping candles in decorative displays, etc.  Festive lighting can highlight the “true meaning of the season” by spotlighting a nativity scene displayed outside.  Festive lighting can ignite the spirit in all of us.  Color your holidays bright with festive lighting.

Moving Away From the White Light

New Themes-Not White

This year how about a theme for your Christmas lights decorations? The most common themes of recent years have involved all white Christmas lights or more recently blanketing the home, porch, windows, eaves and outdoor tree lights with icicle holiday lights.  This year how about something more original?  There are many more options available for Christmas light decorations than these themes and variations of white lights suggest.

moving away from the white lightLet’s pick a more original theme–say bows.  You can start by decorating your Christmas tree all over with them. The bows shown here are gold, but more creative options abound.

What’s up with those Pink Christmas Lights?

moving away from the white light 1Right now, I’m partial to bows made of pink and white striped or polka-dot grosgrain ribbon. Attach little ornament hooks or mini rubber bands to the back of these bows and presto, you’ve got instant bow Christmas tree decorations.  Mix these bow ornaments with pink Christmas lights or even the little white Christmas lights, ( f you must) and you’ve got a unique theme all you own–or in this case a theme that currently tickles my fancy!

moving away from the white light 2The pretty-in-pink Christmas tree shown here is yet another example of my current fetish of working in pink for holiday decorations.

Purple Scores a Hit for the Holidays!

moving away from the white light 3And while we’re talking color, what about creating Christmas lighting and decorating ideas in other unique living colors?  Who says we can’t do purple for Christmas decorations?  These balls cover a whole range in shades of purple and blend nicely with little purple Christmas lights.

Orange is the New Red?

moving away from the white light 4What about orange?  I’m sure you’ve never really considered orange to be a Christmas color, but really why not?  Christmas ornament, Artist Eunice Saunders, mentions orange as the newest of Christmas colors on her website www.eunicesaunders.com.  There you can find unique, artisan-created Ornaments by Nisha, like this one for sale.

moving away from the white light 5If you’re planning to stick with orange as a theme-color, you might also want to add some orange Christmas lights to the exterior of your home as well as to trees–both indoors and out.  Anyway, you look at it, Christmas lights decorations don’t have to be just white lights anymore.  Choose a theme, a symbol, an icon or just a color and let it go wild!