You open the holiday storage box and see it there—a jumble of wires and mini holiday lights, snarled and ready to tangle. Don’t let lighting get the best of you this holiday season. Below are some tips and tricks to help you hang those holiday lights and get your season glowing—without blowing a fuse. Let DexKnows local listings help you find the lighting you’re looking for this holiday season. And to see more holiday lighting ideas, check out this gallery of photos.
Don’t be lazy about storage
So if you’re already staring at a mass of mixed up bulbs and wires, this advice may be a year too late, but you can cut down on holiday headaches by taking a few simple steps to tame those light strings when you’re putting them into storage. Check out this simple way to keep those strands from knotting up after the holidays from Martha Stewart by using a piece of cardboard and some bubble wrap. Better Homes and Gardens also suggests you use tension rods for the same purpose.
Light up that tree
OK, so now you have the lights detangled and you’re ready to go. First up, the tree. A good rule of thumb, according to Lowes, is to use one 100-light set for each 18 inches of tree, so that’s about five strands for a 7-foot tree. Don’t use more than two extension cords, or you may risk turning those twinkling lights into a bonfire. Work from the bottom up, but instead of wrapping the lights around the tree like a mummy, focus on a small, triangular vertical section and work from the bottom to the top, weaving them back and forth as you move toward the top.
Call in the pros
Now, moving outdoors. If you put up a big outdoor light display every year or even just illuminate one special tree, consider ditching that nest of extension cords snaking out from your house and instead hire an electrician to install some strategically placed outdoor outlets, according to Better Homes and Gardens. Remember, electricity, rain, snow and you do not mix if you’re not a trained electrician. Leave the wiring to the pros who know about things like weather sealing and ground fault circuit interrupter outlets.
Now that you have the proper foundation for an outdoor light show, it’s time to pick your project. Whether you want to sparkle up your roof line, decorate your railing or illuminate your evergreens, it’s important to pick the best tools for the job. Be certain to purchase only lights suitable for outdoor use and heavy-duty outdoor extensions cords if necessary. It’s a good idea to enlist a friend or family member to help with the task. If you’re hanging lights on your house, pick up some gutter clips at a local craft store to prevent the wind from wreaking havoc with your holiday display.
Keep it safe
Remember, you can’t enjoy that holiday display if you’re in the hospital, so use common sense when hanging lights. Don’t hang them in wet weather and never connect more than three strands to each other in a row.
By following these simple tips, you can get the lighting up and keep your stress level down.