Holiday Decorating That Won't Hurt You or the House

Tis the season for holiday lights. Too expensive? Worried about attaching lights to the house? Here are some ideas.

First of all, the new LED lights are very energy efficient, give off less heat, and will last much longer than the "conventional" bulbs that we all know and love. You'll still get the nice effect and it won't break the budget. Also, given that we all keep our decorations from year to year, your savings will add up the longer you have them. Some brands of LED lights will last as much as 200,000 hours! When I heard that, I figured if I buy them now, they'll last until my son is old enough to climb the ladder and replace bulbs... and I can sell off the old decorations at next year's garage sale.

The other hassle of outdoor lights is taking care of them (and your home) properly. I saw some great tips on this:

1. When hanging exterior lights, do not drive nails into your home's siding or eavestroughs. If you do, you may create an entranceway for water, that can lead to rotting or even water damage in your home. You can buy special clips that will hold light to the eaves troughs without creating damage.

2. Use an exterior-grade extension cord with a grounded three-prong plug. This will help you to avoid problems with your outdoor lights, and protect you from electrical shock as well.

3. If using eaves trough clips to hold lights, you can leave these in place until next year. This will save you time and potential hazard on a ladder in colder winter weather.

The lights are springing up in the neighborhood already. While I can't say I have the love of the winter that my son has (he's asking about making snowmen and toboganning already), it does make the cold dark nights much more inviting to drive down a street lit by holiday decorations.

Michael

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