Category Archives: Holiday Lighting

Lighting Your House for the Holidays

lighting-your-house-for-the-holidaysThe holidays are a time when family and friends gather at each other’s homes for nights of eating, drinking and being merry. While the festivities are, of course, of central importance, it is also an ideal time to show off your house to its best advantage.

Here are a few ideas on how to accomplish this task by simply using light:

Highlight a decorated entrance –  The first step in welcoming guests into your home is by creating an inviting entrance with wreaths, garlands and lighting the whole thing with colored bulbs. Not only does it make your house stand out from the others in the neighborhood but it also makes it a whole lot easier for your guests to find. A lighted snowman or other holiday figure by the door will also add to the festive mood.

Add plenty of holiday-themed lights – The more of these decorations, the merrier is our philosophy. For those homeowners who want to add tons of color to their exterior décor, there are any number of differently colored lights that can be used. Simply accentuate a part of the exterior landscape or even create a kaleidoscopic vision on the side of your house. your imagination is the only limit.

Line the walkways with lighted candles – Similarly, a candle-lit walkway also evokes the holiday spirit. In addition, a lighted walkway will safely guide family and guests to the front door of your home.  In the backyard, they are also important as guideposts for leading guests to other holiday decorations dotted around the yard. Use solar-powered walkway lights to make the task as easy. maintenance-free and affordable as possible.

Spotlighting those special decorations – While spotlighting is a great – albeit usually subdued – lighting feature to use during the rest of the year, you can really add a dramatic holiday touch to your home by adding a few more spotlights around the property that highlight your reindeer family on the front lawn, a creche under a secluded bush or some other holiday-themed feature.

Create other focal points – If you are fortunate enough to have a front light post, it makes an excellent place to add some spiral holiday lights. Not everything has to revolve around the holiday, however. Use holiday lights to create a focal point around an existing outdoor art piece, fire pit or other area of interest.  It is an invitation to visit that space for your guests and provides an outdoor meeting place during parties.

Keep the interior lighting subdued – After all the excitement outside, you may think that you should continue the radiant holiday theme into the interior. On the contrary, however, it pays to keep it subdued. In our opinion, your family and guests would rather concentrate on the food and conversation in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere.

As you can see, there is a multitude of options for lighting your home both inside and out. It takes some thought, time and effort but the results can be truly stunning.

Leave a comment

Filed under Accent Lighting, Decorative Lighting, Exterior Lighting, Holiday Lighting, Lighting, Outdoor Lighting

The Tradition of Carving and Lighting Up Pumpkins

the-tradition-of-carving-and-lighting-up-pumpkinsCarving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns is a pretty common traditional across the United States. Most parents start teaching their kids to carve pumpkins when they’re young, and this tradition is continued year after year. Some faces are scary, while other are comical, but candles or battery-powered lights are always placed inside so the pumpkins’ faces light up on Halloween night. How did this unique tradition start, and why is it so popular?

Experts believe that the practice of carving pumpkins can be traced back to the early world. Thousands of years ago, ancient people used to hollow out gourds and use them as lanterns. Later on, in the 1800s, the Irish put a different spin on this practice when they started carving faces into hollowed-out turnips. These carved turnips were meant to ward off evil spirits and the souls of the dead. The Irish called their carved-out turnips jack-o-lanterns, and examples of them can still be seen in museums today.

So, when did the term “jack-o-lantern” begin referring to pumpkins, rather than turnips? Well, that achievement can be credited to the North Americans. It’s thought that the tradition of carving pumpkins began in the 1700s simply because pumpkins were more common and easier to come by in the U.S. and Canada. Their larger size also made them easier to carve than turnips. Still, they were used for the same general purpose: to place on porches to ward off evil spirits on Halloween.

Throughout the 1800s, however, the practice of carving pumpkins began to evolve into more of an entertainment-related endeavor rather than a serious means of protecting souls. Pumpkins were often carved throughout the harvest season, not just on Halloween. Stories from the time speak of children entertaining themselves by carving grotesque faces into gourds and pumpkins.

The practice of pumpkin carving became even more popular when The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, written by Washington Irving, gained popularity. This scary tale describes how a shattered pumpkin was found next to Ichabod Crane’s hat the night after he runs into the infamous headless horseman. Adaptations of the legend show pictures of the horseman with a carved pumpkin as a head.

There are a number of stories that detail how the term “jack-o-lantern” originated. One version claims that in Old England, “jack-o-lantern” was another name for the mysterious light creatures known as Will o’ the Wisp, and the term slowly evolved to refer to glowing, carved pumpkins instead. An Irish legend claims that a stingy blacksmith named Jack trapped Satan in a tree and carved crosses into the bark, preventing him from coming down. Pumpkins, they say, are carved in honor of Jack the blacksmith and are thus known as jack-o-lanterns.

Over the last century, numerous movies and television shows have depicted children and adults carving pumpkins for Halloween. Jack-o-lanterns have essentially become a symbol of the holiday. Though some still prefer to make them spooky and grotesque, much like the ones the Irish once used to ward off evil spirits, others prefer to make their faces goofy or happy. Today, jack-o-lanterns are more of a symbol of celebration than a means of protecting one’s home.

So, grab your carving tools and your favorite pumpkin, and get ready to carve your masterpiece this Halloween season. Just think, if you had been born a few hundred years sooner, you’d be carving turnips rather than big, orange pumpkins!

Leave a comment

Filed under Decorative Lighting, Holiday Lighting

7 tips for hanging christmas lights

7-tips-for-hanging-christmas-lights

Give the exterior of your home a magical look this holiday season with Christmas lights. To create a magnificent and festive light display safely, follow these seven tips on how to properly hang your holiday lights:

Plan Your Design. Decide which parts of your home you want to decorate with strings of lights. This will help you to decide the types of lights, tools and hanging devices you’ll need to create your light display. Also, make sure you use a stepladder or extension ladder to hang lights that are too high to reach by hand.

Check Lights. Plug lights into a heavy-duty extension cord to make sure they work properly and that there aren’t any frayed or broken wires. Also, if you’re hanging lights outside, make sure your extension cords and any string of lights are approved for outdoor use, which should be stated on the package they came in.

Locate Outlets. Know where the outlets are closest to where you want to hang your lights. Ideally, it would be best to use a switch-controlled outlet, or you could plug the lights into either an outside or inside automatic timer, depending where you’re going to hang your holiday lights.

Measure. Use an extra long measuring tape to measure the areas of your home you want to hang lights on to ensure you get enough string of lights for the job. For example, if you want to wrap lights around an outside bush, make sure to measure the height and length of it, then figure out how many 25-foot light strings will be needed for these measurements.

Hardware to Use for Hanging Lights. Use heavy-duty plastic clips to hang strings of lights along your roof and gutters. Use nail-on plastic clips or tube light clips spaced about 12-inches apart to hang string of lights on windowsills and around archways. Never use nails, any type of staples or tacks to hang your lights because it could pierce the cord or wear out the insulation, which could cause an electrical short.

Attaching Lights to Trees. Try using a light-hanging pole to attach lights to extra tall trees. This type of tool is easy-to-use, and it’s a great alternative if you don’t feel comfortable using a ladder to hang your holiday lights.

Hanging Lights on Railings and Patios. You can use plastic zip ties to attach strings of lights to any railings or around your balcony. Zip ties can be used for hanging your lights either inside or outside because they’re weather-resistant. They can also be easily adjusted and removed.

Follow these tips on hanging Christmas lights, and soon you’ll have a magical light display that looks professional and will wow everyone who drives by or comes to visit your home during the holidays.

Leave a comment

Filed under Exterior Lighting, Holiday Lighting, Light, Lighting