Planning your outdoor Christmas decorations is an integral part of creating a holiday light show, and the earlier you begin, the better. Holiday light shows can take time to plan and perfect, so begin planning your design early and take advantage of Christmas sales.
Christmas Light Planning
First, you’ll need a plan. The best way to do this is to map out your home. Find out:
- How many circuits and outlets you have available for power
- The length of your roofline for icicle lights
- Door and window measurements for mini light strings
- The tree and shrub count for net lights and wrapping light strings
- The lengths of your walkways and driveways for C7 and C9 lights with light stakes
With the map of your home in hand, plan the essentials.
- Do you want lights along your roof line or line your driveway? Combine C7 and C9 bulbs with light stakes.
- Do you want to wrap every tree in your yard or only spotlight a few? Use LED mini lights to grab attention.
- Will you cover your bushes in net lights, wrap them in light strings, or leave them bare? Net lights cover bushes fast, while C7 bulbs create a retro appearance.
Choose the Best Bulb for the Application
Here is a handy guide to getting the best look for your home:
- Use C9 bulbs with 12″ socket spacing along high or long roof lines, and C7 with 6-12” spacing on smaller roofs. For help determining bulb spacing, watch our YouTube video series on Christmas bulbs.
- Icicle lights are popular on roof lines – consider hanging icicle lights along with C9
- C7 or C9 lights are used to outline walkways and driveways, secured in light stakes
- Mini light strings outline windows and wrap trees, or use net lights in bushes
- Add a unique touch by hanging starlight spheres, lighted snowflakes and Moravian stars from the porch
- Animate the yard with outdoor Christmas decorations including elf and Santa rope light motifs. Motifs secure to the ground and stand up to weather better than inflatables.
- Create a stunning vertical light tree by constructing a triangle using strings of light that run from the ground up to a tree branch. Consider chasing mini lights for the wildest affects.
Go online to view other holiday light show enthusiasts’ past projects. Find inspiration by watching YouTube Christmas house videos of light shows, and see what inspires you.
Consider LED for Power Savings
Once you’ve chosen your Christmas lights, consider the wattage and power draw. If your home has few available circuits and outlets, consider switching to LED lights. Using only 10-20% of the energy of a traditional incandescent, LED Christmas lights contribute to massive savings for a continuously running holiday light show.
Learn how to Calculate electricity costs for your Christmas display.
Hanging Christmas Lights – how do they get so straight?
For a professional appearance, use Christmas light clips.
- All-in-one clips are multipurpose for hanging C7, C9, and mini lights.
- Icicle lights can hang icicles – one clip per icicle drop.
- Temporary and permanent installation options.
- Christmas light stakes secure bulbs along walkways and driveways.
- Tree clips secure wire to bushes.
Enjoy Your Holiday Light Show
Once everything is set up, make sure to share your pictures and videos with us. We love seeing holiday light shows come to life. Here’s one of our favorites:
Here’s a list of some other great holiday light shows. Show us your favorite Christmas light show video in the comments.