Holiday lights can be a big hassle: to buy, to put up, to figure out which bulb is causing the entire string to go dead. It’s enough to make you throw your hands up in the air and say Bah Humbug! Luckily, Apartment Therapy shares some dos and don’ts to help you get out of your Scrooge mood.
Buy the exact amount of lights you need. If you have floorplans or blueprints of your apartment or house, use them to get the measurements for how many light strings you’ll need. On your Christmas tree indoors, you’ll need 100-150 lights per linear foot. Also, be sure to be a good neighbor if you cover your house in lights, ala Clark Griswold. These rules will help you respect your neighbors.
When you unpack last year’s lights, be on the lookout for broken bulbs and put new ones in right away. You don’t want holiday decorating to turn into a trip to the emergency room or get blood all over your tinsel. Also, be sure to turn your light string into something one-of-a-kind by adding ping pong balls or cupcake liners to look like flowers.
Make sure you have enough outdoor rated extension cords, and don’t risk fire or tripped breakers by putting more than five strings of light into one extension cord. Also, be aware that lights will increase your electricity bill and plan accordingly. Better yet, go for LED lights, which are more durable, give off more light, and aren’t energy hogs like traditional lights. For even more energy savings, put your lights on a timer.
After the holidays, take your lights down in a timely manner or else the elements may ruin them more quickly than you would like. Also, you should store your lights untangled in a dark cool place after the holidays. Merry Lighting!