'Tis the season to start preparing our homes for the holidays. Whether you are looking for indoor décor ideas, or outdoor lighting inspiration, save time without cutting corners with these helpful holiday lighting hacks.
Choose the right lights
There is a lot more than just color to think about when it comes to finding the perfect string of lights. Although LED bulbs may cost more than a string of incandescent bulbs, in most cases there are actually more bulbs per string and each bulb uses up to 70% less energy to light (energy.gov). And since they can last up to 25x longer, the cost of LED bulbs is cheaper in the long run. With so many people turning to LED over the past decade, there are now more colors and types of bulbs than ever before!
Give old lights a new look
Not feeling the same old bulbs you hang up every year? There are plenty of ways to give old strings of lights new life. For small LED lights, take some ping pong balls and slice tiny criss-cross slits into them and then slide them over each bulb for new colorful shapes. Or place old string lights into jars and baskets for sparkling home décor. You can even use them as props or backgrounds for amazing family photos.
No tree? No problem!
If you are wanting to avoid the care and maintenance that comes with live trees there are plenty of ways to make your own artificial ones. If you already have tomato cages that you tucked away from your winter garden prep, add some string lights to them to make your own wire Christmas trees. And you can take string lights and hang them on the wall in the shape of a 2D Christmas tree that takes up significantly less space while still showing off the holiday spirit.
Time to get a timer
Leaving your lights on overnight might look nice but all of the wasted electricity is far from magical. First, look for an outlet that can accommodate multiple plugs, so you don't have to worry about a series of switches. Secondly, use a timer device to set a routine for the lights to turn on and off. Even better, a wi-fi switch can allow you to control your lights wirelessly and customize an efficient routine so your lights only stay on when needed. This can be done for indoors and outdoors to help keep that holiday magic right on schedule.
Holiday home DIY
Some of the easiest hacks can be done with items right from your pantry. If you're worried about snow covering and shorting out the plugs of your outdoor extension cords, take an old Tupperware container and cut two 1-inch squares into the rim of the container. Place your connected extension cords into the cut container and seal with a lid to help protect it from the elements. And if the lights on your tree keep sliding down, take a plastic bread tag and use it to secure the lights to the branches in inconspicuous areas.
Hang everything up with an old hanger
Are you tired of boxes full of twisted lights and having to spend hours each season untangling knots? When it comes time to take down your lights, keep things tidy for next year by using the hanger technique. Simply take an old hanger and duct tape the start of an untangled string of lights near the hook. Wind the lights tightly around the body of the hanger from top to bottom while avoiding tangles. Once it's all wrapped up, you can store it in a plastic box or hang it in a garage or shed out of the way.
However you want to show your holiday spirit this year, we hope it's fun, festive, and safe. For more seasonal tips that will make your life easier year-round, visit our blog.