If you want to be the 'Clark Griswold' of your neighborhood, that's cool. But, these helpful tips will make it a lot easier and safer.
Measure The Area You Want to Decorate
Trust me, if there is one thing I've learned over the years of putting lights up, it's to measure the area I want to decorate. You really don't to have to make several back and forth trips to the store. If you measure your rooftop, lawn, bushes, etc, you'll not only have enough lights when it's time to go buy some, but, you may come up with with a better design idea as you measure.
Always Check Your Lights Before You Put Them Up
This seems like common sense, but you'd be surprised how many people will do all of that work to put their lights up, then turn them on and you have bulbs that are not lighting or are shorting out. Before you put your lights up, plug them in and see if all the bulbs are lighting up, or if there are any holes or kinks in the wiring that could short out later or even cause a fire.
Get Energy Saving Lights
Over the past few years, I've gradually switched over to LED lights and have seen my power bill go down. LED lights are 90% more efficient, and they last longer. Plus, since they give off little heat, you don't have to worry about something on your house or lawn bursting into flames.
Remember Safety First
Whether they were shocked after putting their lights up while plugged in, or if they fell off a ladder, hundreds of people go to the hospital each year from holiday accidents. If you need to use a ladder, it's a good idea to make sure you have a buddy with you in case you do fall. Remember, you want to have lights like 'Clark Griswold', not be injury prone like him.
Don't Overload Your Circuits
Each year, thousands of house fires are caused by Christmas lights that had a short in the wiring, or just simply because of someone overloading their circuits. Here's a hint, if all of the lights in your house dim when you turn your lights on, you have overloaded your circuits. No more than 1400 watts should be on a circuit. Check your Christmas lights to see how many watts they put out.
Use Net Lighting
Instead of using regular strand lighting for your bushes or trees, use net lighting and it will save you a lot of time, energy and stress. You won't have to worry about getting the strand of lights in the right place. Just drape the net lighting over your bushes, and you're literally done in seconds.
Getting Design Ideas
If you're not sure what kind of design you are going to do, take a drive around the neighborhood to come up with some ideas, or just simply look online. Start slow at first, and always remember you can add on later. After all, we all can't be Clark Griswold.
Hopefully, these tips will go a long way in helping you safetly become the 'Clark Griswold' of your neighborhood.
Did I miss something? Let me know by commenting below.