Here’s how to light up your Holiday light display safely and economically.
Holiday lights can be displays to show good cheer. Here are some tips on how to get the most from — and spend the least on — your holiday display.
1. Safety first. Emergency rooms are filled with home owners who lose fights with their holiday lights and fall off ladders or suffer electric shocks. To avoid the holiday black and blues, never hang lights solo; instead, work with a partner who holds the ladder. Also unpack the lights carefully and watch for broken bulbs to avoid glass cuts.
2. Splurge on heavy-duty extension cords that are UL-listed for outdoor use. To avoid overloading, only link five strings of lights together before plugging into an extension cord.
3. Consider using alternative light bulbs. LED Christmas lights use roughly 70% to 90% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. You can safely connect many more LED light strings than incandescents. And Solar lights cost nothing to run.
4. Take down displays sooner than later. To extend the life of lights, take them down immediately after the holidays.
5. Permanent attachments save time. If you know you’ll always hang lights from eaves, install permanent light clips ($13 for 75 clips) that will save you hanging time each year. and if you find your blueprints, instead of guessing how many light strings you’ll need, or measuring you can create an easy guide to hanging your lights next year.
6. Store them in a ball. It sounds counterintuitive, but the best way to store lights is to wrap five times in one direction, then turn the ball 90 degrees and repeat. And store your light balls in cardboard boxes, rather than in plastic bags: Cardboard absorbs residual moisture and extends the life of your lights.