The exterior experts here at Highmark want to wish you Happy Holidays. If you like to decorate your exterior for the season,  here are some helpful insights to bring in the holiday cheer safely.

Ways To Decorate Your Exterior

Big two story home at night and covered in christmas lights.

Hang Christmas lights on the edges of your roof or wrap them around your trees.

Grand front door entryway at night on brick home with christmas lights and garland.

Decorate your entryway by adding garland or tree toppers in pots with Christmas lights.

Sidewalk up to home at night, with trees and shrubs on each side with christmas lights.

Hang lights on trees

Hang a wreath on your door or around your garage lights

Front door of brick home with small shrubs on each side.
Two story brick home with christmas wreaths on windows and lights covering the front porch columns.

Wrap lights around pillars

Hang a pine garland on your home and put lights or ornaments on it

Front door of home with red door and two large nutcracker and other christmas wreath, garland, and other decorations.

Types of Lights

There are many different types of lights to choose from, so going to the store can be a little overwhelming. When picking your lights, make sure the strand matches the item you’re going to hang them on (green for trees, white for the garage, etc). Also, don’t forget the clips to hang them with!

Traditional Christmas Lights

The most popular outdoor Christmas lights are C-9 and C-7. They are the traditional larger bulb lights you may be used to. These C lights can become hot after use and they consume more energy, however, they tend to be more durable than other types of lights.

LED or Incandescent

First off, never mix LED lights and incandescent lights, stick with the same type of lights for all areas when hanging Christmas lights up around your home and its exterior.  Why? One, There are distinct visual differences between LED and incandescent lights. You want to keep you holiday lighting consistent so it is appealing to anyone who drives by. Two, combining the two types can cause issues when it comes to power consumption, LED lights are more energy efficient and use less power than incandescent lights.

Other Christmas Lights

Then, there are smaller mini-lights that are extremely popular because they are cheap to buy and operate. A downside to this option is the whole strand may be compromised if one light goes out.

types of Christmas lights illustration

Our Recommendations

Roof and Walkways: C7 and C9 Christmas lights, icicle lights, rope lights (walkways)

Columns and Railings: Mini lights or icicle lights

Trees and Tree Trunks: Wide-angle LED mini lights or C7 Christmas lights for large tree trunks

Bushes: Net lights

How to Hang Outdoor Christmas Lights on Your Home

1. Make sure you have proper outlets and extension cords

Safety is key here and you need to make sure you have the proper power supply before you decide to set up lights.

2. Measure your exterior

Measure the part of your home that you are planning on decorate. Plan ahead of time to ensure you have the length of lights you need.

3. Plug in your lights to make sure they work

What would be worse than hanging up all of the lights, just to find out that they don’t work? Always test your lights after purchasing them before you go through the process of installing.

4. Get a ladder and a partner to hold it (if possible)

This will make the job safer and easier. The partner will also be able to guide you on how the lights look from a different angle and make sure cords don’t get tangled.

5. Hang them on your gutters or eaves

Find the area that you want the lights to be strung on and start tacking them up. Do not use nails to hang them, use the plastic clips found near the lights section at the store for easy adherence. This step will also be better with your partner. Have them hold the end of the lights while you hold the part you are hanging. Pull the lights tight gently as you go for perfectly spaced bulbs.

6. Flip the switches and bring the family out to admire your work!


Hanging Christmas Lights on a Tree

Don’t feel like hanging lights on your exterior or don’t have the time? Place your indoor Christmas tree near a window and open the blinds so it is seen outdoors!

Once you have taken your Christmas lights out of the box and tested them, untangle them as best you can because this will make wrapping much easier. Next, start at the top of the tree using the end of the lights that does not have a plug-in. Move your way down the Christmas tree (don’t wrap too tight) making the space between each wrap even. If you run out of lights, connect another strand and continue until you reach the bottom. Plug them in to see how they look! For taller trees, you will most likely need a ladder to reach the top.

A fast and simple way to do a bush or a small tree is to buy net lights. Net lights come lined with lights on a big surface. Net lights require minimal work, throw a net light over one of your bushes to see if you like the look!

Decorating the exterior of your home can be a lot of work, but a little goes a long way!  Adding a little holiday flare to your home’s exterior will bring joy to you, your family, and your neighbors for the rest of the season.

Happy Holidays!