Hi, this is guest writer Holly Day, sending out tips for putting up your holiday lights outside in the Colorado winter. It’s always fun watching guys hang lights out in the snow and cold while sitting inside with a cup of hot cocoa. Just the same, I hate to see guys do things wrong, so here are a few ideas.
- First of all, don’t snowcrastinate! Put your lights up when the weather is a bit warmer. Your local Ace Hardware store has their lights available by mid-October. Go in and get what you need while the selection is good and the days are mild. You don’t have to turn them on yet, just put them up.
- Use light clips on your gutters, eaves and shingles. Ace Hardware stocks a really large selection of helpful clips to hang lights with. Lights look better this way, they don’t dangle and break and they don’t damage your house. Ace also has poles and light hanging kits for those really high, hard-to-reach spots. Better than falling off a ladder, guys.
- Don’t use plugs like Clark W. Griswold! Think ahead and don’t overload a circuit with too many cords plugged all in to one outlet. Plug your lights in to a GFCI outlet.
- Use LED light strings. What? You’re still using traditional lights? C’mon, this is 2016, get new LED light strings! They look great, burn a long, long time, and they don’t give you all the hassles of glass-bulb traditional light sets. LED’s save a lot of electricity too.
- Plan for nasty weather. Seal your cord connections with electrical tape. Be certain your light strings aren’t going to blow away or break in the wind. Plan on your lights getting buried by snow, but don’t put them where a snow shovel or roof-alanche will harm them.
- This is the most important tip, saved for last: Watch the ends of your cords and plan ahead to have the male end of your cords at the outlet. Every year, guys come in to every Ace Hardware store and ask for a male to male adapter for electrical cords. Oh they’ll swear that they got one there last year, but this adapter has never been made, would be very dangerous and will never be made. Whatever it is with guys that makes them not plan ahead and think there’s always an adapter that will fix things, makes this a dangerous idea. Best way to fix it? Take down your lights and start over from the other end. This is where that old ounce of planning is worth a pound of not-being-embarrassed at Ace Hardware!
I hope this helped you out if even just a little. Hope your lights look wonderful in the snow and have a wonderful winter. Next time you’re in Ace Hardware, tell them Holly Day sent you!