Stunning holiday lights can make your home the talk of the neighborhood. However, creating the vision that you can see so clearly in your head often takes more work than you imagined. Jamie Coyle, a lighting designer, and estimator with Greenforce Outdoor Light in San Francisco provides expert tips and tricks for creating a standout holiday light creation. If you are looking to do a little more than string some icicle lights above the garage this year, here are a few things for you to think about.
Coyle notes that one of the biggest obstacles in his seven years of experience with lighting design comes with homeowners not thinking about how the lights are hung. There are several options for hanging lights, from specially designed clips and special adhesive to screws and the traditional staple. While some of these are meant to cause minimal damage, there really is no solution that’s completely damage-free. When envisioning your perfect holiday display, give some thought to how it will be created. If you’re hiring professionals to hang your lights, you may not think much about this subject, but you should be prepared for some minor marks from staples, etc.
Think about the things you like
Much like the process of planning a home renovation, it can be helpful to have your ideas collected in one place. Put together pictures of displays that you like, and use them as a starting point, whether you’re going DIY or hiring a professional. For Coyle, wrapped trees are his favorite lighting display pieces, “because they’re just so cool looking.” He also notes that popular requests from clients include gutter lines, rooflines that face the street, wrapping trees on sidewalks, and displays featuring reindeer families.
Chic vs. kitsch
Holiday light displays don’t have to be the grandiose versions seen on television shows, or feature five dancing Santas. If you’re looking for something stunning yet subdued, you have a few options. “I recommend keeping it simple,” Coyle advises. “I like mostly white. It’s hard to go wrong. Similarly, if you make it all color, it’s also difficult to go wrong.” Coyle also notes that a display can start to feel less cohesive when colors that don’t go together are paired, and that too many lawn decorations can derail an otherwise simple design. Instead of including multiple items in your lawn display, Coyle recommends creating one focal point.
Photo by Juliancolton, from Wikimedia Commons (public domain)
If you’re hiring a professional to create your dream holiday light display, Coyle recommends making sure the company is reputable. Checking with the Better Business Bureau and reading online reviews can help you make the right decision when it comes time to hang your holiday lights.
Coyle said that there has definitely been a trend toward consumers seeking LED lights. While these lights look great, last longer, and are more energy efficient, they also cost more up front. Creating a holiday light display in LED lights may come with a material cost double that of regular lights. Be sure to prepare for this cost if you’re thinking about LED lights.
Whatever your holiday light display preferences, be sure to create something that you will enjoy. Then sit back, relax, and marvel at your home’s beautiful, festive exterior.