Category Archives: Installing Christmas Lighting

When Should you Plan your Outdoor Holiday Lighting

It’s July, which means we’re over half way through the year and just a few short months away from the holiday season. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we LOVE the holidays! It’s fun, festive and there is tons of lighting. We’re often asked about outdoor holiday lighting and when the best time to plan for the season is. When it comes to holiday lights, the old saying “the early bird gets the worm” is definitely fitting.

Holiday partySome of our holiday lighting clients include towns that want their main streets lit and commercial properties like malls, restaurants and office buildings. Many times, they have a clear idea of what they’d like: lighted Christmas trees, c9 string lights, etc. Because of the specificity and quantity they may require, it’s suggested to reach out to your holiday lighting company as early as possible, often times in the summer months. That way they can order early and make sure your outdoor holiday décor comes in before Thanksgiving for installation.

While residential homeowners may not need to call regarding their holiday lights in July, early is still better. Meeting with your holiday lighting provider in September or October will give them time to get your lights and get you on the installation schedule so your lights are ready to be turned on right after Thanksgiving.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we have a full service approach to outdoor holiday lighting with four steps.

C9 lights are a popular way to highlight a home's roofline.

C9 lights are a popular way to highlight a home’s roofline.

1. The first step in the OLP holiday lighting service is design. From classically beautiful outdoor string lighting to bright and festive candy cane and stocking lights, there is something for everyone when it comes to Christmas lights. We’ll create an outdoor lighting display that you are sure to love.

2. The second step is what every homeowner dreads: installation. Instead of you going up that tall ladder, our trained lighting installers do. We’ll check each light and make sure everything is ready to go for your holiday season.

3. When the season is over, you don’t have to worry about taking down your holiday lighting, we’ve got you covered. Our team will come to your home and take down all of your lights.

4. The last step is storage. We store all of our client’s outdoor lighting for them until the next season. Not only does this free up some space in your garage, basement or attic, but it also allows us to check each bulb before installing them again next year.

If you would like to discuss you outdoor holiday lighting needs, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

Holiday Outdoor Lighting Designs

Christmas is less than a week away and we at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives cannot wait! The holiday season is such a special time of year, enjoying friends and family. For us, outdoor holiday lighting is big component of the season and to celebrate, we want to simply share some of our holiday lighting displays that we’ve done throughout the year.

At OLP, we are all about outdoor lighting design, and for me this home is cozy, warm and inviting. The warm brick color is highlighted by the landscape lighting and popped with the additional Christmas lights. Simple white string lights were hung in the trees and the snowflake lights along the roofline add a special whimsy to the home.

While I tend to like white lights more than colored, I love the pops of red and green in this holiday lighting system. This home is large and stately, and the lights emphasize that. Lit garland around the tall columns bring some of that greenery that winter is known for into the space. To add to the green, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives use large red bows and red lights to make the space scream Christmas.

Holiday lights are not only made for the home, but also for the community. This gazebo is the center point of the community that surrounds it. White LED string lights were hung on the roof, columns and railings. Personally, I wouldn’t mind sitting in this gazebo with a hot chocolate in hand.

This holiday lighting in Birmingham is classically beautiful with its red and white lights. The home has an interesting roofline which is beautifully highlighted with white snowflake lights. Wreaths are synonymous with the holiday season so I love that the homeowner wanted not only a large lit wreath over the front entrance, but also smaller wreaths on all the windows. It is a lovely home that is welcoming throughout the season.

My last example of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives holiday lighting just can’t be illustrated in a photo, but it’s great in video form! Check out this awesome tree lighting system from our location in Nashville!

5 Easy Ways to Use String Lights this Holiday Season

If you know Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, you know that we enjoy the holiday season. Our outdoor holiday lighting service is creative and fun in a different way than our architectural and landscape lighting. While we love designing and installing outdoor holiday décor, some homeowners prefer to do it themselves. One of the most versatile diy outdoor holiday décor items is string lights.

If you are going to use string lights this holiday season, here are some easy ways to incorporate them in your design.

Another mesmerizing holiday tree lighting design by Outdoor Lighting Perspectives1) Wrap it up. Wrapping items in string lights is the most common use for outdoor string lights. Whether it is a column on your front porch or a tree in your yard, wrapping it in lights instantly makes it more festive. To make it a little more unique, try thinking beyond just white lights. For instance, my brother is in the military, so my mom did a tree with different branches is red, white and blue lights. Another idea is to wrap your columns with red and white string lights to make them look like candy canes.

2) Use them as a border. Hanging lights from the roof can be dangerous (we recommend having a professional outdoor lighting company help you with that), but there are other ways to make your home stand out that is safer to install. Use string lights as a border around all of your windows. You can even do this from the safety of your home with suction cups around the window.

3) Put them in something. Last year, one of our neighbors had these beautiful lanterns on their front porch for the holidays. They were large and red and were the perfect detail for Christmas. They placed flickering gold string lights inside them so they lanterns would stand out at night too.

4) Use them as a base. One of the reasons string lights are so versatile is because they can take the shape of whatever you need them for. I find that they are beautiful when just laid at the base of something. For example, imagine a large planter with a tree or bush in it on your property. Laying lights at the base of it instantly makes it more festive. This can be done in planters, flower boxes, or even amongst some greenery on the steps to provide sure footing.

5) Just let them hang. String lights are beautiful even in their simplest form. This may seem silly, but just letting them hang down from something is easy and gorgeous. I can’t take credit for this, but I saw it last year when visiting a friend of mine. She and her husband have a large front porch where guests would stand while waiting for them to answer the door. On either side (not that the guests would walk through), she just hung strings of lights from the eaves of the porch roof to the floor. It was simply stunning as they twinkled while we waited.

Before you install any lighting outdoors, read the packaging to make sure they are made for the outdoors. Not all string lights are safe to use outside. If you have any questions on outdoor lighting, please reach out to your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives.

 

No-Hassle Holiday Lighting Makes the Season More Enjoyable

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love the holiday season. I love the music. I love the company. I love the food. And I definitely love the lights.  From homes decked out from top to bottom in lights to those that have subtle candles in the window, they all make me smile.

Growing up, my mom always did something different with the front of the home. At the end of the day, our family, our neighbors and our friends loved whatever she did, but she never enjoyed the process of putting them up. She would sometimes complain about the time it took and how difficult some of it was and whether it was worth it. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we pride ourselves on no-hassle outdoor holiday lighting that you can sit back and just enjoy. Our full service program includes 4 steps: design, installation, take down and storage.

The first step of our holiday outdoor lighting process is design. We work with our clients to create a lighting display that fits their needs and budgets. While creating the design and choosing products, we will look at the property, the architecture of the home to create a custom look that is different from the neighbors’ home. The products may include roofline, door, yard and other decor products.

After the design is created and agreed upon, we will get all of the necessary products and install them on your behalf. There is never a need for you to get up on a ladder! And no need to waste your day installing outdoor lighting. Our trained and insured installers will test every bulb before and after installation ensuring your display is as festive as you desired.

My least favorite part of the holidays is having to take down our holiday decorations. It takes a ton of time to take them down and pack them up properly. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, the same trained installers that put up your lights will come and take them down, packing them up nicely to be used again next year. They will make note of all your products and supplies so nothing is lost between seasons.

The last step in our hassle-free outdoor holiday lighting service is storage. After we take down and pack up the lights, we take them back to our storage facility. By having all the pieces on our property, we can test each and every product and bulb before going to your home the next year to install them. That way, if a light is out, we know ahead of time and can order any replacement materials that are needed.

If you have questions on outdoor holiday décor, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

 

Decorating Outdoors? Use these Safety Tips

Make sure you plan out your holiday lighting before stepping on that ladder to minimize time.

We are not far from outdoor holiday decorating time. While it is fun (for some people) to decorate the house with lights and décor pieces, it can be dangerous. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 12,000 people are injured each year due to holiday decorating. If you are going to hang lights or decorate outdoors for any holiday (Halloween, Hanukah, Christmas, etc.), keep these safety tips in mind.

Before you go outside…

Check your outdoor holiday lights. Have you ever spent hours on a project to realize that something isn’t working properly? Don’t let that happen with your outdoor holiday décor. Plug each string of lights in and check each bulb before installing it. Make sure each bulb not only works, but also is screwed in its socket tightly so you know it will work once installed. It’s much easier to check and change bulbs in the comfort of your living room than outside on a ladder.

Read the product information. This goes for both your lights and any extension cords you may be planning on using for the system. The first thing to check is what they are actually made for. There is a big difference between products that are made for outdoor use and those that are made for indoor use. Outdoor products are designed to withstand the elements, indoors aren’t. Using indoor product outdoors can cause shortages and failures. Once you’ve verified that your lights and cords are safe to use, check any usage numbers associated with the cords. You don’t want to overload them with too many strings of lights.

Dress appropriately for what you are doing. This tip is particularly important if you are going up on a roof, in a tree or up a ladder. What shoes you wear are incredibly important. They need to have traction so that you don’t slip on any surface that may become wet and slippery. Additionally, don’t wear too loose of clothing that may get caught on branches, clips, ladders, etc. The more fitted your clothing is the less likely you are to have to free yourself of being connected to something.

While installing…

Have a buddy to help. It’s always safer to install lighting, especially any that is off the ground, using the buddy system. Your buddy can spot you as you climb and pass you anything that you may need allowing you to focus on your safety and what you are hanging or installing.

Unplug everything. While installing your lights, you should not have it connected to a power source. They should be off. It is much safer to not have any electricity running through a system while you are working with it.

Make sure everything is secure. While the holidays are a time of cheer, they also happen to occur in months that can be harsh. Make sure that your outdoor holiday lights are securely connected to your home, tree, etc. so that nothing pulls in the wind. When securing things to your home, DO NOT USE NAILS! Nailing or stapling lights to your home may cause future damage like leaks in your roof. Use lighting clips that are made for installing string lights. They are easy to secure to and remove from your home.

After you’re finished installing…

Check the system. Plug everything in and make sure it is all working as planned. If something isn’t working and you think you know why, unplug everything again before trying to fix it. For lights that you placed or installed on the ground, make sure they aren’t in areas of your property that you know are known to hold water when it rains. Lights should never be in standing water.

Unplug the system at night. We all love not only enjoying our holiday lights, but also allowing our friends and neighbors to enjoy them as well. That being said, they shouldn’t be on all the time in case something sparks or shorts. When you go to bed, make sure everything is properly unplugged and off.

Enjoy. This is the key to all outdoor holiday systems. Go outside and just look at your lights.

For those of you who don’t want to chance injury, there are outdoor lighting companies, like us at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, that would be happy to install and take down your lights for you. If you have questions, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

Tree Lighting for the Holidays Adds Festive Flair

The holidays are a time for happiness and cheer. We at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives are happy to add to the ambiance through our outdoor holiday lighting service. It puts a smile on our faces when we see how welcoming and bright our clients’ homes can look for holiday visitors.

Each of our holiday lighting systems is different. At OLP, we custom design the lighting plan based on the clients’ properties, tastes and budgets. Our trained installers will put up the lights and take them down at the end of the season. Additionally, we store all of our clients’ lighting product for them so each bulb can be tested before being installed again the following year.

Holiday tree lighting is always a popular installation, but there is more than just one way to do it…

Wrapping trees in string lights is the most popular method of holiday tree lighting. It’s a design classic that can make a big impact. Take this tree from the Nashville capital for example. The Outdoor Lighting Perspectives team wrapped it thousands of bulbs to highlight its size and beauty. With the lights, it can now be admired both day and night. While white and red bulbs are used most often, string lights are available in a number of different colors.

There are numerous types of ornaments that are meant for the outdoors, but most of them don’t light up themselves. To add something extra to a tree, we have colored spheres in a variety of colors and sizes that can take on an ornamental feeling. The surface is textured, allowing for more “sparkle” than a smooth surface. For added excitement and visual interest, spheres with twinkling bulbs can be installed.

Snowflakes are one of the key icons of the holiday season. Snowflake lights can be hung from tree branches along with string lights to create a tree straight out of winter wonderland. Some of our snowflake lights are constructed with LED rope lighting and some are made with layers of metal that is back lit with LED bulbs. The most interesting trees with snowflake lighting have several different designs incorporated.

One type of outdoor holiday lighting that is growing in popularity is snowfall lighting. Snowfall lighting intends to mirror the look of falling snow. I like to think of snowfall lighting as icicle lights taken to the next level. Instead of having all of the lights on each line lit up at one time, they light up in one after the other.  Here’s a video of a project that one of our locations did a few years ago that incorporated snowfall lights. Watch out for the “dripping” lights, that is snowfall lighting.

If you don’t have trees on your property, but would like something for the holidays, we have temporary, pre-lit trees that are perfect for outdoor décor. Some are made of poles and string lights, while others, like these spiral ones, are hollow structures that are taken apart at the end of the season.

If you have question on outdoor holiday lights, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives.

 

Christmas in July – Six Months to Prepare

This week marks six months until Christmas. Are you ready? Yeah, me neither, but it is time to start thinking about it. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we are already thinking about and planning the upcoming holiday lighting season.

Now some of you may be thinking that planning 6 months in advance seems a little nutty, but in reality it isn’t if you are considering professional holiday lighting, especially if you have specific designs in mind.

The options for outdoor holiday lighting have grown tremendously in the last ten years. Do you remember when white icicle lights were the new trend? While they are still popular, there are so many more possibilities to consider. This post could go on and on if we were to talk about all forms of outdoor Christmas lighting, so we’ll just focus on one section that makes a big impact: roofline lighting.

C9 string lights were first introduced in 1927 and continue to be the go-to product for rooflines. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, our trained lighting installers use clips to perfectly outline the roof structure around a home or commercial property. While warm and cool white are the most popular colors, they are available in a wide variety of colors, from traditional reds and greens to purple and orange. If you are considering purchasing and installing C9 lights on your own home, here are a few tips. First, make sure you buy lights that are made to be outside and two, never use nails. Too many homeowners use nails or staples to hold the string lights in place, but that can result in damaging the roof.

Icicle lights continue to popular amongst homeowners, and now, it includes snowfall lighting. Snowfall lighting is very similar to icicle lights, except that it looks like falling snow. A line of lights form the “icicles,” but instead of being illuminated all at one time, the lights go on down the row, as if it is falling snow. Snowfall lighting can be installed along the roofline, but also up in trees which can create a gorgeous effect.

Snowflakes are a universal symbol for winter so it isn’t surprising that they’ve made their way into roofline lighting. While the vast majority use white lights, it does bring more visual interest than the standard string lights. Some companies offer a variety of snowflake styles to choose from.

Candy cane, bow and Christmas stocking lights are one way to highlight your roofline while adding pops of color. The colors in the roofline can be added in other outdoor holiday décor that you choose to incorporate throughout the design.

If you are interested in professional holiday lighting at your home or business, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office. It’s never too early to discuss your options and plan your lighting for this holiday season!

 

Looking forward to Holiday Outdoor Lighting Halfway Through the Year

Tomorrow is June 1st, which means that 2013 is almost halfway over and the outdoor holiday lighting season is just around the corner! The winter holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year. I love all of the colors and decorations as well as seeing the different ways people decorate their home for the holidays.

Every year we see different products and trends come to the holiday lighting industry, but some decorations are tried and true. Here are some of the outdoor holiday lighting ideas that I think will be big this season.

C9 Holiday outdoor lights by Outdoor Lighting Perspectives

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives created this stunning holiday lighting display by using the charming C9 LED lights.

C9 String Lights. Christmas string lights are popular year after year, a testament to their versatility and classic design. So much can be done with string lights that I don’t anticipate them going out of style any time soon. Whether a homeowner wants red, green, white, yellow, blue or other color, it is most likely available. One thing that a lot of people don’t know about C9 string lights is that they not only come in a number of colors, but they have different textures as well. The more classic bulb has a smooth surface, but there is also a faceted lens that is textured. The faceted lens creates more sparkle than the smooth surface lenses which makes them perfect for the holidays.

Snowflake Lights. Snowflake and white icicle lights have been available for years now, but when it comes to snowflake lights, the options have never been so vast. Five years ago, you may have had a choice of five or so designs, but now there are so many more. Some of the commercial Christmas trees that we have done, we’ve used a bunch of different snowflake designs. Mixing and matching snowflake lights really adds some whimsy and visual interest to an outdoor holiday display.

Color. The majority of Christmas lighting that we at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives have designed and installed has been white and gold, but we are slowly seeing more and more color. Colored holiday lighting has been used commercially at a much higher rate than residential projects, but more people are inquiring about colored string lights as well as lighting displays that incorporate the colors of the season. I love this poinsettia display as a colorful addition to a lighting display!

As the season truly comes (I’m anxious, what can I say), we’ll have a better idea of what people are into this year. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we have a full service approach to holiday lighting for our clients. It has four steps: design, install, take down and store.

When a new client is interested in professional holiday lighting, we first meet with them to discuss likes, dislikes, see their house and get an idea of the budget. Each and every lighting design we create is completely custom, ensuring it is just what the client wants. Some may want a candy cane theme while someone else may want something more classic.

Once we’ve designed the lighting display, we have a team of installers that come out to the house to install it. This is one of the biggest benefits of having a company do your Christmas lights. Who wants to stand on a ladder for hours hanging lights? Not me!

After the holiday season, we come back out to the house to take down, pack up and store the lighting display until next year. Why do we store them? By storing the lights, we not only save our clients’ room, but it also allows us to test every light before installing them agai. Bulbs burn out from time to time and when we store the lights, we are able to make sure everything is in good working order before we get to your house. If something new is needed, we can order it before installation.

If you have questions on holiday lighting, please reach out to your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

 

Make sure you SHINE ON this holiday season

The passing of Thanksgiving brings the beginning of the outdoor holiday decorating season. I must say that driving home after stuffing myself with turkey and fixings became much more enjoyable as I passed homes with lights on the roofline, in the bushes and windows and on the front yard. This is the time of year, I love going on walks and driving through neighborhoods to see the lighting displays.

Make sure you plan out your holiday lighting before stepping on that ladder to minimize time.

Installing outdoor holiday lights can, however, be dangerous or cause damage when done incorrectly. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we’ve come up with the SHINE ON acronym to give hints on how to create a beautiful display without incident.

Sketch: Develop a plan. For our clients, we take before pictures of the property and sketch out a plan before tackling an install. Without a plan, more time is spent on ladders and roofs were injuries can occur (and more money is spent on decorations). We also suggest taking an after picture so your planning process is shorter next year.

Hang: Make time. If you are hanging lights, give yourself several hours of daylight to install it. Doing this after work when it’s getting or is dark isn’t safe. It will take longer than you expect if you are doing it for the first time, so don’t rush yourself.

Investigate: Test and retest. Test each string of holiday lights before attempting to hang them. I actually made this mistake last night, but luckily it was just on my Christmas tree and I wasn’t on a roof.

No Shortcuts: Use the right stuff. Make sure that all of the outdoor holiday décor you are displaying is made for the outdoors (also check the extension cords you are using). It should say right on the box if it’s OK to use outside and in the winter elements. Also, make sure not to string all the lights together. Most boxes will tell you how many you can string together before the performance is an issue. If you link too many, you may blow bulbs or fuses (apparently no one told Clark Griswold about this).

Encase: tape it up. Winter brings some harsh elements. Tape up connections with electrical tape so everything stays put.

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas minus the snow? Outdoor Lighting Perspectives can create one for you with our professional holiday lighting displays.

Another mesmerizing holiday lighting display by Outdoor Lighting Perspectives

Only use clips. Too many homeowners use staples or nails to hang their outdoor Christmas lights. Not only will clips hold everything in place more securely, but nails and staples can cause damage to your home’s exterior.

Never go solo. Not unlike any other time you are going up a ladder or on a roof, use the buddy system when installing holiday lights. One person should be on the ground making sure the ladder is steady.

And when in doubt, call in the experts. Professional holiday lighting installers will handle all parts of your design, install, take down and storage. They call also get to those hard to reach places like high peaks. If you have questions regarding holiday lighting, contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives offic

How Hurricane Sandy may Impact your Outdoor Lighting

First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with those that have been affected by hurricane Sandy. As the weeks and months of recovery begin, we wanted to let people know how hurricanes or large storms can impact an outdoor lighting system. High winds and large amounts of rain can impact outdoor lights, wires, fixtures and transformers can be damaged when put up against the harsh side of Mother Nature.

Under normal circumstances, wiring can become exposed. It is even more common when large storms come through an area. Wind and rain can move a lot of dirt and mulch on a property. If your wires aren’t run deep enough, they may be uprooted. Wires that are uncovered are more likely to get cut due to lawn mowers and other landscaping tools so it’s important that they are buried where necessary. Additionally, large amounts of rain, as it saturates the ground, may push your wires up. Walk around your property to check if you can see any wiring. If so, call your landscape lighting company to rebury it.

Fixtures can become unstable when the ground is soaked with water. After a storm like Hurricane Sandy, it wouldn’t be uncommon for fixtures to be tilted or toppled over. Take note of those fixtures that may need some attention and let your outdoor lighting company know. If there are fixtures that aren’t working, don’t try to fix it yourself. You may do more damage or hurt yourself if you aren’t sure how to maintain a lighting system.

Unless you had flood conditions, your transformer (especially if you have an Outdoor Lighting Perspectives system) should be performing normally despite high winds and rain.  To prevent water coming up from underneath the transformer, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives installs its systems six to eight inches above ground. If you think your transformer may be blown (if it’s sitting in water, it will no longer work properly), contact a professional to take a look. They can check the power source as well as voltage levels and wattage lines.

As we go into the outdoor holiday lighting season, homeowners may find more affects of Sandy as they install lights along their rooflines. Older gutters and roofs may be weaker due to the harsh elements. Make sure to check everything properly before spending time on the roof hanging lights. Or better yet, have a professional holiday lighting company do it for you! No one wants to ring in the holiday with a broken arm.

If you have any questions regarding the safety or performance of your outdoor lighting system, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.