Tips For Hanging Holiday Lights Outside

Are you already planning on outdoing all of your neighbors to have the best decorated house on the street this holiday season? If so, you need to balance your ambition with a little bit of caution. Each year, an estimated 15,000 people make trips to the emergency room due to accidents related to holiday decorating. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while creating an amazing winter wonderland in your yard.

1. If you're hanging lights from trees, choose your trees carefully.

Because of their height and volume, trees can be a perfect place to hang strings of lights. However, not all trees are equally up for the task of being part of your plan.

Trees that are injured or diseased could fall over at any time, especially if you are shifting their balance while climbing on and around them to hang lights. To identify these types of unstable trees, look for any trees that have dead branches, large areas of decay in their trunks, or fungus growing on or near their bases. Since tree removal is quite difficult and dangerous, it's best to call a professional to both assess the situation and remove dangerous trees. Visit for more information.

To ensure that your trees will be healthy in future years, there are a few things you can do. First, when you're mowing, give tree roots a wide berth. Mowers and weed trimmers could damage smaller roots near the top of the soil, making the tree less stable. Additionally, prune no more than 25% of a tree's foliage in any given year. Excessive pruning can cause unbalanced growth and leave inner areas of the tree vulnerable to the elements.

2. Check your lights before you hang them.

There's no guarantee that the lights you hung last year will continue to work properly this year. Even though exterior lights are designed to be resilient, there's a lot of wear and tear that they're exposed to both when outside and when they're being handled. This is especially true when homeowners try to stuff the unruly mass of lights inside a small box or bag at the end of a season.

To keep your time on the ladder as short as possible, plug in each string of lights before you hang them. This can give you the perfect opportunity to replace any strings or particular bulbs that are broken. Fortunately, most modern strings of lights come with several replacement bulbs. If you can't find yours, starting this process early allows you plenty of time to replace and even upgrade your lights to the latest products available.

Now that the weather is getting colder and the nights are getting longer, it's the perfect time to make a plan and start decorating. Just remember that when you're doing so, take care and work methodically so that you can get the job done as efficiently as possible.