Your Guide To Lighting Up Your Home Exterior For The Holidays

Christmas lights are popping up all over the Internet as quickly as they are beginning to appear in neighborhoods across the country. If like me, you have yet to put up the first light, here are some tips to get both of us started.

Guide to lighting your home for the holidays

A fantasy holiday color scheme (picture from

More Choices Than White or Bright Colors

With the introduction of LED bulbs your holiday lighting is no longer limited to warm white or bright colored lights. Today there are more color choices and combinations than ever before. Mix up light and dark green. Bring together pastels and brights. Update traditional red and green by adding pink and light green. Even a combination of warm white and cool white with amber or faint blue can create a special winter wonderland look.

Just like when you are picking colors for your exterior, selecting the right colors for your holiday decor starts with considering a few things about your home. Your color scheme can be inspired by your lifestyle, style of your home or even be influenced by your neighborhood.

If you have kids multi-colored lights and plastic reindeer might be what gives them the most delight. White lights or a single soft color can be best if your goal is to highlight your home’s architectural details, landscaping or other outside elements. Sometimes neighbors collaborate to turn their entire street or cul-de-sac into an attention getting display. Whatever color scheme you choose, make it your own.

LEDs Light The Way

Once you’ve got a design in mind, if you will be purchasing new lights — go with LEDs. The cost of LEDs is more initially but they use less than 15 percent of the electricity of traditional lights. They also don’t break as easily. In the past LEDs had a bluish glow that most people found less appealing than the warm yellowish glow of incandescent lights. However, the color of LED lights has really been perfected and considering net costs are the way to go for outdoor decor.

Landscape Lighting

As you are getting your design direction in mind, don’t forget to extend your lighting to your entry, walkways, edges of flower beds and driveway. Focusing lights on the architectural details of your home highlight your home’s beauty and adds to the festive atmosphere. If you are doing quite a bit of lighting I recommend that you consult a lighting professional. They will help you to avoid ending up with a tangle of wires and extension cords that might not stand up well to the weather or could be too much for your electrical system.

Add Lush Greenery

No one wants to see the cords and plugs so take this tip from Southern Living on how to disguise unsightly wires. Keep the cords or extension cords for strings of lights out of sight by winding them around a column or post and cover with Christmas greenery or garland. Add a pretty container of ornamental cabbage or kale at the base.

Let Someone Else Do The Decorating

Companies offer turnkey services that remove the hassle of purchasing, installing, maintaining and storing exterior decorations. They can also give you a unique design or ideas for installing the lighting. During the holiday season, they will service the lighting should anything become damaged or stop working. One of my favorite reasons for hiring someone else to handle you exterior decor is that they take down the display and place the items in their own facilities for the next year.

If you want to have their holiday lighting up and running by the day after Thanksgiving it is best to book early. I don’t know about you but I really don’t like putting up decorations when it is freezing outside and I have many other holiday chores to attend to. Get on it right now and mark your calendar for next year right so you remember to book your dates for decorating right after Labor Day.

So go get started planning the perfect display for you and your family. The possibilities for holiday lighting are endless. The only limitation is your imagination.

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