The 12 Rules of Christmas Lighting

So it is only 11 days till Christmas= Yay! And you haven’t put your lights up yet= …Not so yay.

With everything else going on, like buying presents, wrestling wrapping paper, family gatherings and office Christmas parties, putting up the lights may have slipped you by.  However before you begin, here are some tips and tricks that might help the process go a lot smoother.

1) Safety First- An old saying but nonetheless true, being safe during the holidays is the most important thing.  It may seem like an easy job attaching icicle lights to the garage roof but in wet or icy conditions it can be dangerous.

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2) Plan Ahead- Even though it is close to Christmas, planning ahead will actually save you time in the long run as you can simply get on with what you want to do, rather than diving in head first and having to adjust and adapt as you go along.

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3) Pick a Theme- Whatever style you want to go with, whether it be an elegant and timeless, crazy and colourful, or what can only be described as an explosion in a tinsel factory (this one’s popular with children), stick to that theme throughout your Christmas lights.

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4) Check the lights before plugging them in- This is so important, as there’s nothing worse than putting up all the lights perfectly, switching them on, realising they don’t work, and having to start all over again!

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5) Outside As Well- Now we all know the one person who goes, lets say over the top, with their outdoor Christmas lighting.  Some elaborate displays can look great, but understated lights can still add an atmosphere.  For example, net lighting means you don’t have to struggle with strings of fairy lights or an LED Ribbon Light can create distinctive borders.  Just make sure both your lights and any extension cords being used are safe for outdoor use in the cold, snow and rain.

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6) Switch off the Lights overnight- Remember #1?  This is a big part of staying safe, as leaving your lights on overnight can cause accidents such as fires if any part of them is faulty or develops a fault.  The easiest and safest solution is to simply switch off the lights before you go to sleep.

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7) Neighbourhood Watch- Be respectful of your neighbours with your Christmas lights.  Although you may be feeling the Christmas spirit, other people probably don’t want the glare from your lights in their living room.

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8) Start Small- If you are unsure about what to do with your lights, start with some smaller projects like decorating the mirrors or stair bannisters.  Then if you want to go bigger with an actual display of lights, go for it! If not, that’s fine too as sometimes less is more as it will help draw the eye to key features. Plus, not everyone’s house needs to be visible from space.

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9) Fairy Lights are not just for trees- Their versatility knows no bounds: just look at these examples below for some inspiration.

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10) Accent lighting still matters- It’s just different areas that need to be highlighted, like the tree or wreath on the door.  This can be achieved by some spotlights, especially for outdoor accent lighting as you can keep using this all year round.

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11) Enough light to party- In attempting to limit the amount of lights on, to create a homely, cosy feel, sometimes people can go the opposite way and leave their guests without enough light to see.  Now, no one wants to be the one to crash into the Christmas tree because they couldn’t see it, so make sure they have enough light to navigate all the decorations.

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12) Make sure you love your lights!- You’re going to be the one seeing them everyday for the next few weeks and there’s no point if you hate them!

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