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Outdoor Christmas Lights

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Only three years after Edison invented the electric light bulb, Christmas lights were developed and hung in the home of one of his colleagues. They were red, white and blue lights, strung around a rotating Christmas tree. And ever since then, we have all grown to associate the holiday season with plenty of festive lighting and decoration.

Business offices, stores, and especially homes come to life during the month of December, twinkling in all hues of colorful outdoor Christmas lights, from clear and white to blue, red and green!

Not surprisingly, the first neighborhood competitions were introduced by General Electric and other Edison Electric distribution companies. They sponsored several communities to enter into “decorating with color” contests in order to promote outdoor Christmas lights. Now holiday decorating has developed into a beloved tradition: a symbol of creativity and artistic status for homeowners. The important question persists-- who has the prettiest and most impressive outdoor Christmas lights on the block?

In the beginning, it was a simple task to find suitable outdoor Christmas lights, since the available options were rather limited. Just pick up a set of big-bulb, multi-colored lights, and you were good to go! Nowadays, it’s amazing how many different types there are to choose from: single string Christmas lights, icicle lights, blinking lights, mini lights, colored or clear, LED or C7… and the list grows each year as manufacturers find new ways to create a festive glow around your home.

The increasing complication of setting up outdoor Christmas lights has inspired a growing field of professional decorators. People are now hiring specialists to do the whole job of designing and installing their outdoor Christmas lights! It’s a growing trend among those who have the money and are concerned with both safety and appearance.

But for those of us who are still climbing up on the roof and tackling the task ourselves, there are some very important things to keep in mind.

Safety and Conservation Issues:

  • Before you set up last year’s set of outdoor Christmas lights, always inspect each string for damage and burned out bulbs. Plug each string individually into a light socket to see if all the bulbs are working correctly. Change all burnout bulbs, and make sure each bulb is firmly fastened in its socket.
  • Make sure you always use the appropriate cord and socket for outdoor use!! Household extension cords should NEVER be used for outdoor Christmas lights; it’s important to invest in multi-plug light stakes, appropriate for your yard.
  • Always read the package of your outdoor Christmas lights, to find out how the maximum amount of strings that can be attached together. Usually, the most is three. Do not ignore this advice! You may end up with melted cords, burning bushes, and even worse—a full out fire.
  • Don’t ever use a string of lights without the Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) seal of approval. This is the standard for safe outdoor Christmas lights. Just one bad string, and you are jeopardizing the safety of your home and the people living in it.
  • Check out LED holiday bulbs. They are currently available in red, green and yellow. The benefit is that they’re shatterproof, shock resistant, and completely safe to touch—no accidental burns on Baby’s hands!

Aesthetic Suggestions:

  • You don’t want your yard or house looking tacky! Outdoor extension cords should match the area of intended use. For example, use brown cords for the trunk of a tree, green for bushes and evergreens.
  • The “nets” developed for bushes, tree trunks, and other surfaces are a fantastic way to evenly distribute the bright twinkles. They look professional and absolutely beautiful!
  • Rather than trying to cover your whole house in the few strands of outdoor Christmas lights that you have, concentrate instead on one or two areas of light. This is a better technique that you’ll be able to appreciate once everything is set up, and you take a step back to gaze on your artistic engineering!


Holiday Shopping Discount Christmas Lights Candles

Related Information:

How to Hang Icicle Lights
When you first take your icicle lights out of the box, you should begin hanging them.

How To Mount Rope Lights
Before installing them, choose where you want your rope lights to be mounted.

LED Rope Lights
LED rope lights make great decorations during the holidays but they look just a good any time of year.

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