Christmas is coming!! You know what that means?? Decking the halls, lighting our yards and homes with colorful lights, and eating until we fill out our stretchy pants!! Here are some helpful tips that would be included in the manual of Christmas, if there was one:
Before you start, make a plan. Measure the locations where you will string lights. Most likely this will be along eaves, gutters, and/or around your windows. Use your plan to estimate how many strands of lights you will need and how long they should be. Unfortunately, there are no standard strand lengths, but there are standard-size bulbs and standard distances between bulbs. We recommend looking for C7- or C9- size bulbs spaced 6 to 8 inches apart. A longer distance between bulbs allows for more light to spread across a wider area, creating a more picture perfect look and warmth.
BONUS TIP: To avoid the dreaded knots of Christmas lights, wrap your lights around a coffee can before storing them.
Place the first bulb from the male end of a strand on the corner of your eave which is closest to an outlet. Next, extend the line around the exterior of the house, keeping the string tight. Secure the lights with gutter clips so they do not creep up the roof. These are cheap, so buy a lot. A discreet extension cord will connect the lights to the outlet.
You could use net lights, but that is kind of a cop-out, but we won’t judge if that’s your thing! Instead, wrap regular mini-lights around the trunks and branches. To determine how many feet of lighting you need, divide the height of the trunk by the desired spacing between each strip of lights — about 3 inches is typical — then multiply that number by the trunk’s circumference. Do the same math for any large branches you want to wrap.
Most blown fuses are caused by moisture getting into the connectors that attach strings of lights to each other. Sealing each connection and the loose ends of a string with duct or electrical tape will keep everything nice and dry.