DIY Christmas Lights
In the world of DIY, there are few things as tricky as properly hanging Christmas lights—especially permanent ones. It’s always an option to have a professional install your holiday lights. They lights themselves will be of higher quality, and there are even options to have lights installed permanently. But, for some, professional installation is just too expensive. Anyone is capable of installing their own professional-quality lights at home. With the right tools, tips, and some grit, you’ll have the most festive house on the block.
DIY Installation of Permanent Holiday Lights
Permanent holiday lights are a great option with long term value. If you want permanent lights, you need highly durable materials, and (you guessed it) those tend to be more expensive. But, with lights that can be left up year round, you save time and money in the future. Of course, you can have permanent lights installed professionally, but adding professional installation on top of the higher price tag of materials can make permanent lights a huge expense. That’s why learning to DIY your permanent lights (or even your yearly lights) is a great way to save money.
With Everlights holiday lights, you can have a different light show every day of the week by switching up the colors and designs from your smartphone. They’re virtually invisible during the daytime so they won’t affect your home’s curb appeal. While professional installation is a popular option with permanent lights, the DIY route is also an option.
The key to DIY permanent lights is to get comfortable with investing up front in high-quality lights, clips, and other essentials. Here are some important steps and tips for installing DIY permanent Christmas lights.
Know Your lights
The first step in installing holiday lights is to create your material list. Depending on the type of lights you are installing and where you are installing them, you may need high-quality LED lights, a controller, power supply, power cord, j-channel (installation component that adheres to siding), ½’ drill bit, or metal screws. The lights are of course the most important thing in your shopping cart.
DIY EverLights: Create your material list
LED lights are a better choice than incandescent bulbs because they’re super durable, don’t get too hot, and are brighter than other lights on the market. They also use less electricity—meaning they are better for your wallet and the planet.
There are limitless color options when it comes to LED lights. If you use Everlights, you don’t even have to commit to one. You can switch them up from your SmartPhone whenever the mood strikes. Red for Valentine’s Day, anyone?
Make sure the color of your LED lights matches your expectations before you invest. You should also do your research and buy lights that maintain the quality of brightness and color over time. Durability, color, and finish are all important factors to consider when purchasing LED lights for your DIY Christmas light installation.
LED lights come in three primary finishes: faceted, smooth and frosted. This is really up to preference. The most popular finish tends to be faceted because it’s the original. Smooth is really clear and bright, and frosted is quite a classic look.
Conduct Trial Runs
As with any complicated DIY project, don’t skimp on the dry-run. Make sure to set up the light installation before making anything permanent. You need to ensure there are no issues with the length of the light strings, the clips, or the electric connection before making things permanent. A dry run will save you from wasting your time taking lights down and starting over.
Decorating is a lot of fun, but don’t forget to take the necessary steps to keep your home, yourself, and your loved ones safe. Don’t DIY alone! Enlist help with bigger projects (and any project that puts you on a ladder or rooftop). Here are eight essential safety tips.
- Never cut any wires with the lights powered. The lights are powered anytime they are plugged into a power source, whether the lights are on or not. Always install with the lights unplugged from all power sources.
- Replace any decor (especially lights) that have come into contact with water while in storage. You don’t want mold hanging around or damp lights that could cause harm.
- Don’t mess with exposed outlets! Make sure any outlet that you’re plugging lights into is properly covered.
- Keep the direction of the lights constant. Every light has an input and output. They must always connect in to out. There is an arrow on the back of every light and on the front of every data buffer. Ensure all arrows are pointing in the same direction.
- Buy proper hanging clips for your lights rather than using nails, screws or tacks. The more secure, the safer!
- Make sure to disperse your lights so you don’t overload any single electrical socket.
- Avoid doing your exterior decorating when there’s snow and/or ice on the ground. Minimize risk by waiting for a dry day!
- While that holiday egg nog or glass of wine may feel like the perfect addition to a day of decorating, don’t drink and decorate. You need a clear mind when climbing ladders, using staple guns, and messing with electrical outlets.
Creative Ways to DIY With Holiday Lights
You don’t have to limit Christmas lights to your tree and your home’s exterior. Here are four fun ways to DIY with holiday lights.
LED Candles for Long-lasting Cheer
LED light “candles” are every DIY decorators best friend. They’ll likely last the entire holiday season and you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn them off. Avoid the fire hazard of real candles on your mantles and window-sills and set up flickering LED lights around the house instead.
There’s No Such Thing as Too Many Fairy Lights
There’s an entire realm of possibilities when you bring fairy lights into the mix. Use them to light up a table of framed photos or brighten up your mantle. Stuff them in your favorite vase for a fun accent piece.
Luminarias are a beautiful and easy way to light up your walkway or enliven your patio. All you need for a luminaria is a bag, a candle or LED light, and something to weigh the bag down (a rock will do). Place the heavy object and candle or light in the bag and there you go.
You can create dozens of luminarias for relatively cheap and place them all over your home. For obvious reasons, be careful if you choose to use real candles. LED lights are the better option because they last longer and don’t present a fire hazard.
Decorate with Mason Jar Lanterns
Mason jars are a staple for every DIY enthusiast. Why not use them in your holiday display? Stuff some battery-powered LED Christmas lights into a mason jar for a dreamy look. You can put them around the house on table and mantles, or hang them with a wire from a tree.