Let there be hol­i­day lights

The Hamilton Spectator - - GREAT GIFTS -

The sky is the limit when it comes to light­ing the ex­te­rior of the home this Christ­mas, thanks a to­day’s wide va­ri­ety of op­tions for hol­i­day lights and tools for has­sle-free hang­ing.When plan­ning your bright light dis­play, you’ll want to con­sider your de­sign style be­fore you head to the store to stock up.

De­ter­mine what area you wish to light up to en­sure you pur­chase the right num­ber of strands for good cov­er­age. While some home­own­ers pre­fer the clean look of white lights, oth­ers en­joy the fes­tive look of mul­ti­coloured lights. Al­though tra­di­tional in­can­des­cent hol­i­day lights are still pop­u­lar, the LED lights now avail­able are bet­ter than ever and more closely mimic the cov­eted tra­di­tional style. LED lights of­fer en­ergy sav­ings of up to 80 per cent, and have a life­span of up to 20 times longer than their tra­di­tional coun­ter­parts.

With such a wide as­sort­ment of LED op­tions now avail­able, home­own­ers can get more cre­ative than ever be­fore. From colour chang­ing lights to ici­cle style lights, and light­ing “nets” that evenly cover bushes, out­door dec­o­rat­ing has never been so easy, nor so much fun. When at­tach­ing to a roof, wall or other sur­face, look for plas­tic or plas­tic-coated fas­ten­ers, hooks or clips de­signed for that pur­pose.

Safety con­sid­er­a­tions should al­ways be a part of your de­coar­ing ef­forts. Only use lights that are la­beled as out­door, and check your in­ven­tory of out­door-use ex­ten­sion cords, too. You may need more than one, de­pend­ing on the size of the area that you plan to light up. When set­ting up the ex­ten­sion cords, avoid high traf­fic areas and never place them un­der a rug. Save your­self pos­si­ble frus­tra­tion by test­ing all lights and in­spect­ing all cords prior to in­stal­la­tion.

Once you’ve fin­ished hang­ing the lights, and have had am­ple time to ad­mire your daz­zling hand­i­work, take some ex­tra pre­cau­tions to keep your home safe through the hol­i­days.Wrap a piece of elec­tri­cal tape around the con­nected plugs for fur­ther pro­tec­tion from the el­e­ments. Al­ways un­plug the lights when you leave the house or go to sleep. Con­sider us­ing an au­to­matic light timer to set your lights to a pre­de­ter­mined sched­ule.

Christ­mas lights have long been a much-ap­pre­ci­ated tra­di­tion of the sea­son, not only for the homeowner, but for the passersby.. Make your days bright and your nights even brighter with your own hol­i­day dis­play.

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