It’s that time of year where the holidays seem to bleed together and the decoration work can seem endless. You may not be quite ready to take down those Halloween cobwebs and spooky things but Christmas lights can be one of the more rewarding home decorations to do. Whether you are planning just a simple installation or a large and complicated project, Cutting Edge has some important tips to make the whole process safe and less stressful. Perhaps the most valuable of these tips is that our trained professionals are ready and willing to do all the work for you.
We are also offering a $20 OFF deal for all light installation and takedown for all bookings before November!
When choosing a power source ensure it is easy to access. Outlets should be of the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) variety. These will shut down the circuit if there is overcurrent to greatly reduce the risk of sparks. Some home stores provide portable outdoor units for as little as $20.
Lights marked Underwriters Lab (UL) are your friends. These will be waterproof and, especially here in Oregon, are your only safe option for outdoor installations. LED lights use up to 90% less energy and last much longer than traditional bulbs when taken care of.
Finally, a word on ladders. Holiday decorating sends about 6,000 people a year to the ER from falls due primarily to poor judgement. These projects are meant to be fun so be smart and take your time. If there is a hard to reach spot from your current position move the ladder instead of leaning.
Remember! A little planning before starting the project can go a long way in terms of efficiency and safety.
Clip, Staple or Glue?
Many people default to the staple gun because it is the most simple and can be the sturdiest method for hanging lights. However, remember that the extra hold you get from staples will still be there when it’s time to take the lights down. Staples can also rust, fray the light wires and conduct electricity.
Another common method is the hot glue gun. This much less permanent method can be a bit messy and will definitely leave bits of glue all over your house. It also requires an outlet and extension cord to reach everywhere you plan to string lights.
Light clips are yet another way to attach those beautiful colors to your house. All-in-one plastic clips won’t put any holes in your house or leave glue residue. They do take a bit longer to install and will eventually need replacing after a few seasons.
Whatever method you choose, always check that your lights work before beginning the hanging process! There’s nothing more frustrating than plugging in your hard work only to find a broken section of lights right in the middle of the toughest to reach spot.
End of the Season
The most dreaded part of this whole process if the eventual removal of all your hard work.
Like most things, a little planning goes a long way. If you take your lights seriously, consider planning next year’s display during the Christmas season as decorations tend go on sale right after December 25th.
While it may feel you just put the lights up, taking them down sooner than later means the lights will last longer. The more weather they are exposed to the lower their lifespan. (Consider having a trained Cutting Edge technician assist you)
When storing lights, wrap them into a ball to reduce tangles and place them in a cardboard box to reduce moisture.
Finally, don’t stress too much! The holidays are a time to relax and enjoy. Many people work themselves up with all the prep that needs to be done but at the end of the day, the holidays are meant to be a fun celebration.