The holiday season is here, and with this nice weather we have been having, what better time to get your lights up! Setting up your home’s Christmas light display is a fun annual activity where you have the freedom to be creative. To equip you with all of the information necessary to make your Christmas light display the envy of your neighbours, we’ve consulted Misha Solomon; Co-Owner and Operator of Snobrite Lights. With over 6 years of industry experience, Misha and the Snobrite team share their tips on how you can make your home stand out this holiday season.
Before you climb the ladder and hang your lights, there is some work to be done to make sure everything is ready; and it all starts with having a plan. Whether you are a DIY light installer, or you choose to use a professional, thinking outside the box makes it possible to get the display of your dreams. “The most important thing is to determine what you want to see at night and to think beyond what you think is possible,” explains Solomon.
Once you have your plan, it’s time to turn your attention to the lights. This includes what type of lights to buy, determining how many lights you will need and picking a colour scheme to make your home pop.
There are many different types of bulbs on the market. In Solomon’s opinion, the most economical and energy efficient bulbs are the best option. “LED bulbs have been the biggest game changer for the holiday lighting industry. They use very little electricity, they’re durable and they come in a multitude of colours, sizes, lengths and combinations” he describes, “LED all the way.”
As for light quantity, Solomon has an easy way to safely estimate the necessary amount of lights. “You can use the spec drawing that your builder provided for your home, or you can use a measuring tape on the ground to estimate length and add in a few more feet for peaks, bends, curves and pillars.” It’s always better to have a little more than you need just in case.
When determining light colour, it all comes down to personal and family preference. “Families with kids love the classic multi-coloured lights. They provide a fun and magical feel!” Solomon explains. “Solid colours on the other hand, provide a more classy or elegant effect.” A third, option, as Solomon explains, is gaining a lot of popularity for its vibrancy and feel. “Mixing colours has become very popular. Mixing blue and white, or red and green looks great on all applications from homes to big trees.”
Light Selection & Setup
Once you’ve got your plan and know how many lights you will need, it’s time to get to work! For light installation, it all begins with locating your power source. “Electricity is the bloodline of the lights. Determine where your power source is or where you would like the lights plugged in and that’s how it all starts” Solomon describes. “We normally start and install from the power source and then solve the puzzle from there. You’ll likely need a few extension cords to connect different levels as it is best if you can have the whole display going to one source that is connected to a timer or switch.”
As for the application of lights to trees, Solomon suggests making sure you’re well aware of what end of the wire you are starting with. “Trees are always best started from the top down. Also remember that you want the double pronged, or male end of the wire going to the top of the tree. Otherwise you will need a very long extension cord!”
Though Christmas lights bring joy and cheer, setting them up can also be a dangerous endeavour. Climbing ladders and battling the winter elements comes with obvious risks and as Misha Solomon puts it, these risks shouldn’t be taken lightly. “Safety is the most important aspect of Christmas light set up; especially on rooftops and tall trees” he describes. “Always have someone minding the feet of the ladder. Make sure they are flat and even and that the ladder is at the correct angle to the roof.”
It’s not just height that can be a dangerous factor in light set up. This time of year, temperatures are dropping and there’s no guarantee that the weather will cooperate as Christmas draws closer. “Your wardrobe choice and being dressed for the elements is key. Outerwear, and gloves with good dexterity all combine to keep you warm and help to get the job done in a timely manner.” Solomon added.
It’s great to celebrate the holiday season and get creative, but when it comes to safety, Solomon warns homeowners to play it safe. “The biggest mistake a homeowner can make when putting up lights is going beyond their comfort and safety level,” he explained. “Work with somebody else to watch your ladder and increase the fun. Santa is always watching, but he can’t stabilize your ladder.”
There’s no place like home for the holidays, and nothing welcomes your family home like a warm and bright Christmas light display. This year, think outside the box with your Christmas lights and light up the night sky with these great tips from the professionals at Snobrite Lights.