Planning for your holiday lighting and decorating has its advantages.
You will be prepared for choosing greenery and Christmas lights when the choices are abundant. You may be able to snag a few bargains too.
If you plan to hire a contractor to design or install your display, getting on the schedule early will ensure you get to enjoy it for the entire season.
This year planning may have greater significance. In times of change and uncertainty, customs like these tend to become more important, reminding us of our special traditions.
To help you with your planning process, we’ve gathered the most current ideas for making your display beautiful, safe, and affordable for now and years to come.
Reimagine Your Illuminated Environment
The first step in planning your outdoor lighting display is to assess the current picture.
If you squint you get a better idea of the most dominant features. These may be elements that you wish to give greater focus with lighting.
The most logical focal point is the front entrance to a home. Additional focal points may be elements in the landscape that frame the entrance, such as columns or trees.
The purpose of reimagining this picture is to see it new. It’s an opportunity to minimize anything that is out of balance, such as a large tree that now dominates the space more than it did when it was young.
A random group of shrubs combined into a beautiful drift of white with holiday lighting is one way to accomplish this effect. Another way is to emphasize rooflines and other home features to bring them forward.
Now consider how that reimagined emphasis will work with color.
Many of us grew up with the traditional, multi-color holiday lights that are now rarely used because the bulbs were hot to the touch. The reason for this is that these lighting strings were made of smaller versions of lights that you would use in a lamp.
Nowadays, in addition to the common miniature outdoor lights, we have LED (light-emitting diode) lights that are available in single strand colors.
LED lights have changed the lighting market. They are not as fragile to handle and can be used in place of the incandescent lights. The best thing about LED lights is that they are longer lasting than the common string lights.
The second best benefit is you can find them in white, blue, red, or just about any color you prefer. So, now you can use color for contrast, emphasis, and creating just the right mood.
Anyone that has ever painted a room knows that the use of color can be tricky. White is the safest color to design with and for this reason, it usually dominates.
You can think of white lighting as the nighttime canvas and the other colors as accents. Thus, on their own red or blue lights may fade into the night, but not if they are strategically placed in front of a white background.
Admittedly, some live experimentation is necessary. So before loading up the car with new LED lights consider buying a few strands to see how they work on your property after dark.
Make Safety A Priority
Outdoor seasonal lighting presents several safety concerns.
- Hot spots – lighting that temporarily blinds people
- Trip hazards – extension cords are largely invisible after dark
- Overloaded circuits – hard-wired safety lights can be disconnected
- Installation – damp, wintery conditions present challenges, especially with ladders
- Distracted drivers – street parking and evening work or play are challenges
When safety is made a priority holiday lighting can be designed to make spaces safer. Lighting that illuminates drive and walkways makes them safer in slippery conditions.
In addition to mitigating the hazards listed above, you can make the decision to switch to LED holiday lights to eliminate a few others. In general, the standards for LED lighting are higher.
Traditional string-lights may not get a hot as their incandescent ancestors, but that can create a false sense of security. The most common problem with incandescent string lights it connecting so many together that it overloads and trip the circuit breaker.
Unlike incandescent lights that should usually be limited to about 3 connected strands, LED lights can be safely connected in a series of 20 or more. There is minimal heat buildup and virtually no voltage drop.
Technology Is Changing The Value Structure
Traditional incandescent holiday lights are brighter because they draw more power than LED lights. However, that bright Christmasy glow comes at a price.
While less expensive to purchase, incandescent lights consume 80% more power than their typical incandescent counterparts. There is the out-of-pocket cost to consider and also the durability.
While professional lighting contractors still use incandescent lights, they are usually disposed of after each use. Lamps break and fall out and the thin wires either corrode or break during the storage process.
When you factor in the dramatically reduced operating costs, coolness to the touch, ease of installation and storage durability, LED lights have become a clear favorite with professionals.
Beautify Your Outdoor Spaces Year-Round
Your home or commercial landscaping can be eye-catching throughout the year. We design and create dramatic Christmas lights displays in and around Tulsa. More than just lighting, we’ll show you the latest features that give you full control over how and when your surroundings look when illuminated.
When you’re ready to take your outdoor spaces to the next level, our creative team at ProActive Landscaping makes the process simple—you tell us what you want, we develop ideas with your taste and style in mind, and you enjoy the outdoor look of your dreams.
Contact us today to get a free quote—and see your vision for the outdoor spaces you’ve always wanted to come into being, adding beauty and value to your home.