10 things you need to know about putting up and taking down your holiday lights

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·5-min read

From decorating tips for small spaces to the easiest way to store your Christmas lights, Canadian Tire and Yahoo Canada are bringing you everything you need to make this holiday season the best one ever.

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

If you forgot Christmas was approaching, just look out the window. One of the best things about this time of year is admiring the dazzling holiday light displays in your neighbourhood and around your town.

While some people opt for a minimalist look with a smattering of icicle lights lining their roofs, others prefer a more conspicuous approach to decorating. Think Clark Griswold decking his home out with 250 strands of lights in the classic ‘80s Christmas film. I think it’s safe to say most people are somewhere in between.

Whatever level of outdoor light decor you prefer, there are important things to consider if you want to have the best looking house on the block. It takes a little pre-planning, but you’ll run into far fewer problems in the long run. Here are some helpful tips and tricks for putting up and taking down outdoor lights that we guarantee will result in a spectacular display.

1. Come up with a plan

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

You never want to decorate blindly and without a strategy. If you want to be that house that everyone oohs and ahhs at, take a step back and come up with a design. Start by finding a focal point for your decorating. This could be a door or an archway and it’s always a good idea to take advantage of the architectural details of your home.

2. Get acquainted with a measuring tape

A great holiday light display requires a certain amount of precision. You’ll quickly find that measuring straight lines where you plan on hanging lights will save you time and frustration. This way, you’ll know exactly how many strands are required. You also want to measure the distance to your power source because no electricity means no light display

3. Hold it down with light clips

The unsung hero of a professional looking Christmas light display is what keeps your beautiful display in place. Light clips like these NOMA snap clips are essential for keeping lights in place and in a straight line. They’re capable of securing lights on eaves, shingles, siding and tiles. If you want to make life even easier, NOMA offers Quick Clips that include a built-in clip that you can swivel in your desired direction.

4. Double up for maximum brightness

The secret to a light display that Santa can see from the North Pole has nothing to do with the brand or kind of lights used. To achieve that extra oomph of brightness, double up two sets of lights and secure with a light clip.

5. Type matters

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

If you really want to impress, any old combination of lights just won’t do. The type of lights you choose for different parts of your home can take your display from average to professional. First, don’t mix white LED lights with incandescent lights as they emit slightly different shades of white and can appear mismatched. If you’re decorating trees or shrubbery, opt for something with a green strand like these NOMA Outdoor 70 Mini LED Lights.

6. Testing, testing, 1-2-3

Test your lights before securing them -- because there’s nothing worse than realizing you have burnt and broken bulbs when you’ve already spent the day hanging them.

7. Decorate smarter, not harder

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

Net lights are one of the greatest inventions for decorators who don’t have a lot of time, but still want their Christmas decorations to wow. Rather than painstakingly winding strands of lights around bushes and shrubs, you can simply lay the NOMA Outdoor 100 Twinkling LED Net Lights over top and light up the neighbourhood.

8. Taking down Christmas lights

The secret to taking down Christmas lights is to do it carefully. Take them down just as you put them up, by removing clips and lights. Ensure you have a sturdy ladder and avoid standing on the roof if you can. As you remove the lights, make note of those that are burnt out or broken and toss or replace. You can find replacement bulbs like these NOMA Mini LED Replacement Bulbs rather than buying a whole new set of lights.

9. Storage solutions

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

Properly storing holiday lights is important for longevity. It’s tempting to toss them in a box in a mess of tangles, but you’ll regret it next season. Instead, pick up a Christmas Light Storage Box designed with four reels to wind your lights around. Lock the lid and store safely for the following year.

10. Have fun!

Don’t forget why you’re putting up lights in the first place. It probably began because it was just a fun activity, but it can easily turn into a chore or a competition between neighbours. Bring it back to simply being a creative annual project that brings joy to more people than you know.

Canadian Tire and Yahoo Canada are helping Canadians make this season one to remember, with decorating tips and tricks, gift ideas and festive recipes and so much more. Click here for more!