Holiday Lighting

Outdoor Lighting

You'll find a variety of bright and merry holiday lights for outdoor decoration at your local Cole's Hardware store There are string icicle lights for roof edges, net lights for bushes, colored floodlights and rope lights for railings, porches, trees and around doors and windows.

Here are the basics on decorating your house with holiday lights.

Step 1. Plan It Out
Make a dimensioned sketch of the area of the house that you'll be lighting. With the house sketch and list of available supplies at hand, devise a plan for lights and write up a shopping list.

Step 2. Provide Safe Power
Buy a 16-gauge extension cord with an in-line circuit breaker and multi-outlet plug if you're stringing many lights. You may need additional standard 16-gauge cords. "Landscape" cords are colored green to make them less visible in the grass and shrubs. Wrap all connections with electrical tape and/or cover them with a plastic bag taped to the cords to seal the ends.

If you have an outdoor outlet that has covers that snap over the unused receptacles, replace the cover with a larger "in-use" type, which will protect the receptacle from the weather when it is in use. Also make sure that the receptacle is a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) type.

Step 3. String Lights on Your House
Use string lights, regular or icicle-style, to outline the architectural lines of your house. Slip universal-style clips under sidewall siding or the shingles at gable roof edges and snap the wires or lamps into the clips. Use gutter clips or S-hooks to hang strings of lights to the front edge of gutters.

Step 4. Place Lights on Trees and Shrubs
Rather than trying to twist and wrap wires around the branches, use reusable clips and/or various sizes of plastic cable ties.

Light mats, which are web-like arrangements of evenly spaced lights, work well over manicured shrubs such as yews. Center the mat at the top front edge so any open or overlapped areas will be in the back of the shrub.

Safety Alert!
Only use lights designated specifically for outdoor use.
When hanging lights, stay clear of power lines.
If connecting to an inside power source, keep the window or door open slightly so the cord does not get crushed.

Indoor Lighting

When adding lights to your Christmas tree, work from the inside, close to the tree trunk out towards the tips of the branches. When you reach the tip of a branch, wrap your way back toward the trunk.

Mini lights and C7 Christmas lights are typically used to decorate indoor trees. Ask your local experts at True Value for assistance in choosing the right bulbs for your tree.

Use holiday lights throughout your home, such as rope lights and mini-lights along doorways, windows, stair railings and mantels, to add a festive look to your rooms.

Safety Alert!
Unplug all holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
Avoid overloading electrical outlets or extension cords.
Keep all cords out of the way in high-traffic areas in your home.

Great job! Your home is now bedecked with holiday charm both inside and out. Don't forget to visit your local Cole's Hardware store for the tools, products and expert advice you need to start right.

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Shopping List

  • String lights
  • Net lights
  • Colored floodlights
  • Extension cord
  • Electrical tape
  • Plastic bag
  • Timer
  • Cable ties
  • GFCI outlet
  • Clips