Tuesday, November 24, 2009

By Cody Scholberg

A guide for the outdoor lighting novice

Obviously, if you've never attempted setting up an outdoor Christmas lighting display before now, you probably could use a few tips on how to get it underway. Most people's biggest concern is working with electricity and if this is a first time, some safety tips are in order. Check with an electrical professional to get some guidelines about what you should have in the way of equipment and safety in order to get started.

For small homes, a lot of lighting is not required to make your home festive and colorful for the holidays. Too much can even look a little crowded or messy. Your goal is to make your home attractive and cheerful, not gaudy or tacky. Probably your first year you will want to be conservative both in price and amount of lighting. Just a simple spotlight directed toward the beautiful wreath on your front door can be very pretty. Of, if you prefer, wreaths can be purchased with lights attached to them.

Ideas for your first Outdoor Lighting project

If you would like to accentuate your front stoop or porch, a small lighted tree in a beautiful planter or holder is very special. Sometimes just the front porch light on this particular decoration is enough to emphasize the display.

You will probably want to have a lighted Santa Claus in your front yard for their enjoyment, or perhaps a Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. Small children get so excited over this sign that Christmas is arriving soon. And, as they come on again each evening, the little squeals of delight continue. A lot of people agree that "Christmas" is for children. When it comes to Santa Claus it certainly is.

Get the supplies you need on that same trip to the store

One almost essential item is a timer that will turn your lights on at dusk and off at the specified hour that you choose. There is a little extra security included with this technique. No one will know you are not home since the lights go on and off even when you're away. A timer is not recommended for the inside of the home, however, due to the possibility of fire. Be sure that any lights or equipment that you purchase is UL approved.

Next year, you'll be all set to assemble your display once again with very little effort if you store your decorations securely away. You might have fun adding some little incidental thing to your display each year, or you might just revel in the idea that all you need to do is put everything up again.

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