Here at Christmas Décor by Timberline, we talk a lot about holiday lighting styles and things you should do when it comes to your holiday décor. People who decorate for the holidays are happier and it even fosters a sense of community.
We’re the furthest thing from the Grinch, but there are some things you do not want to do when decorating your yard for the holidays. Staying safe, limiting required maintenance, and aesthetically pleasing displays are the goal. If you’d rather not take care of all of the things required to hang your lights, we offer holiday décor done for you. If you’d like to take care of your décor, read on for common mistakes to avoid.
Don’t Use Indoor Holiday Lights Outdoors
Indoor lights are not made to handle the outdoor elements. We get snow here, and sometimes the storms here are heavy and wet. In Colorado Springs, using indoor lights can actually be dangerous. They may not be resistant to water and may break more easily. Make sure the Christmas lights you purchase specify that they are for outdoor use.
Avoid Using Icicle Lights in Windy Places
Icicle lights add a beautiful aesthetic to your holiday lights display, but unless you want to spend hours untangling them and be up on the roof fixing them after every big gust of wind, they’re best to avoid. The strands will blow up on the roof from wind and storms and make the light display look and feel less organized.
Don’t Hang your Lights Before Testing Them
This one may seem self-explanatory, but we’ve all been there. People will get so excited to hang the holiday lights that they forget to plug them in quickly before jumping on the ladder and installing them. It’s so disappointing to spend hours getting your Christmas lights installed and then realize you have half a strand out. Test them out first and then start installing.
Don’t Forget to Measure Before Purchasing Your Lights and Plan your Display
Measure before you purchase your holiday lights, or you could end up with a roofline that is only half-lit. That’s why planning your holiday display is so important. Figure out what areas you would like to include lights on such as wrapping a porch rail, around the edge of the garage, or on the roofline. And consider the roofline – are you only lighting the front? Halfway along the sides? Or the entire gingerbread house?
When planning out your holiday lighting, there are 5 key design areas to make your arrangement look complete. Less is typically more when planning your décor display so don’t overdo it. Unless your goal is to be a Griswold (nothing wrong with that! We love a little oer-the-top cheer).
When measuring, make sure you consider the extra length it takes to safely plug the lights in. Your lights should be plugged into a weatherproof outdoor socket that is safely away from areas where people can trip over them.
Avoid Using incandescent Holiday Lighting
Incandescent lights use more energy and produce heat which could lead to a fire hazard. LED lights are a much safer, energy-efficient, and sturdy option for your holiday lighting. There are a wide variety of LED colored lights from colorful, white, to even warm whites and yellows for a classy look. Learn more about the meaning behind the holiday lights color you select.
If you do have incandescent lights and are not yet ready to make the switch to LED lights, make sure you are extra careful about not overloading your outlet socket because it could blow a fuse. We want an overload of cheer, not your circuits.
Don’t Forget About Ladder Safety
Decorating for the holiday is supposed to be fun, not something that causes injury! Ladder safety is crucial when hanging your holiday lights. Do not use a ladder if there is ice outside. Place the ladder on an even, dry surface to prevent it from tipping over or sliding.
Avoid using a ladder that is not tall enough for you to easily reach wherever you are hanging lights or décor. You should never stand on the top of a ladder or lean way off the ladder. Both of which could result in injury.
Also, make sure the ladder is secure if you need to get up on the roof to hang your décor. We don’t want you to be stranded on the roof because the ladder blew over from a sudden gust of wind. Have a buddy out there with you if you can to hold it steady.
Try Not to Use Large Inflatables if you Can Help it
Inflatables are an expensive décor option and don’t do well in places with high wind and heavy snow. Inflatables can sometimes make your décor display look overdone and take away from the aesthetic of your theme and lights.
If you do use inflatables, secure them with stakes in an area that has enough space.
Avoid these common decorating mistakes to make your holiday display as beautiful and easy to maintain as possible and be sure to stay safe when installing your lights. We hope your holidays are merry AND bright.
If hanging the lights feels like a chore and you’d rather stay warm indoors, take a look at Christmas Décor by Timberline’s service area to have us professionally plan, install, maintain, and take down your lights for you.