Despite neighborhood peer pressure, you and you alone dictate the aesthetic direction of your home’s holiday display. Follow these tips for hanging outdoor Christmas lights, and step back and enjoy your masterpiece when you’re done.

Here’s some knowledge on Holiday Bulbs 

  • INCANDESCENT Classic, filament-based bulbs that give off a warm glow
  • LED Last twice as long as incandescent. Can appear cold
  • WIDE-ANGLE LED LEDs with concave tips that throw light
  • TRANSPARENT Colored mini-bulbs with visible filaments
  • CERAMIC Opaque and look as if they’ve been painted. A classic
  • GLOBE LEDs inside globe-shaped bulbs that stay cool
  • NET LIGHTS Mini-lights or small LEDs in a webbed circuit
  • RGB LED Programmable diodes that can display almost any color.

1. LIGHTS Before you start, make a plan. Measure the locations where you will string lights. Most likely this will be along eaves or gutters and around windows. Use this plan to estimate how many strands you’ll need and how long they should be. Unfortunately, there are no standard strand lengths, but there are standard-size bulbs and standard distances between bulbs on a strand.

2. LAYOUT Place the first bulb from the male end of a strand on the corner of your eave that’s closest to an outlet. Now extend the line around the exterior of the house, keeping the string taut. Secure the lights with gutter clips so they don’t creep up the roof.

3. TREES Wrap regular mini-lights around the trunk and branches. To determine how many feet of lighting you need, divide the height of the trunk by the desired spacing between each strip of lights; about 3 inches is ideal. Then multiply that number by the trunk’s circumference. Do the same calculation for any large branches you want to wrap. First, wind the lights up the tree, leaving about 6 inches between each pass. Continue on to the branches, then wrap back down into the empty spaces. That will give you the desired 3-inch spacing. So, for a 6-foot-tall trunk with a circumference of 2 feet, divide 72 inches by 3 inches of spacing, for a total of 24. Multiply 24 by the 2-foot circumference, for 48 feet of lights.

4. ELECTRICIANS Most blown fuses are caused by moisture getting into the connectors that attach strings of lights to each other. Sealing each connection and the loose ends of a string with duct or electrical tape will keep everything dry.

Remember to be safe and have fun.

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