How to safely hang Christmas lights outside

It’s that time of year again – only five weeks until Christmas! We usually try to wait until December 1stto decorate for the holidays, but deciding on your Christmas lights and getting them set up can often take time. It’s easy to say, “I want lights on my roof” or “we should have a front yard display this year,” however there are many things to keep in mind when decorating outdoors. Some of these tips may sound like common sense, but we suggest you read through our recommendations on how to hang your Christmas lights outside safely this holiday season:

Choosing Your Bulbs

  • When deciding what your yard should look like this year, consider the type of bulbs you want to use. Most commonly, people choose between C7 and C9, cone-shaped coloured bulbs, to decorate their homes. Make sure to read the package to see how many strands can be safely strung together as well as if they’re waterproof or water-resistant – a must for outdoor lighting.
  • If you’re looking to save money on power, miniature bulbs are always an option to light up your yard, trees and shrubs. These lights look adorable and require less energy to run, however be careful if one burns out, as it increases the voltage on the other bulbs, lessening their lifetime.
  • If you’re the type of person who likes to tell a story, perhaps you’ll choose to use animated lighting. This type of lighting is made out of wire frames, so the lights run along a shape to create images of Santa, reindeer, presents, snowmen, you name it.

Deciding on Your Display

  • Once you’ve decided what kind of bulbs you’re going to use, you can now choose where you want display them. Common places to string lights: trees, shrubs, stairways, decks, roofs, fences, etc.
  • If you decide to decorate your trees and shrubs, you may want to consider net lighting. You can now purchase mesh with interconnected LED mini lights so that it’s easy to throw these lights up. Simply drape the mesh overtop of your trees and shrubs to light up the whole area without having to weave your lights in and around dozens of branches.
  • When it comes to putting your lights up, make sure to always stand somewhere secure. Whether you’re on a ladder, stairway, up a tree or crouched under the deck to plug the string in, make sure that you’ve taken all necessary safety precautions.

Lighting Your Display

  • Ensure that all extension cords you’re using are made for outdoor use. This is really important as they tend to get wet or lay in puddles on warm days.
  • Make sure you’re using the proper outlet to power your light display. In order to light up your yard, ensure your display is plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet – this will turn off your display if the circuit is overloaded. Get a professional to install one of these if you don’t have one easily accessible.

Simply follow these steps for a safe Christmas light set-up and a happy holiday season to follow!