Monday, December 9, 2013

Decorating for the Holidays


Follow these easy steps to become the talk of the 
neighborhood, just like Clark Griswold!

Step 1 : Have the Right Equipment

You will need:
Christmas Lights
Times and Controllers
Christmas Light Clips

Step 2 : Measure First

The professionals always measure. Start by measuring the base of the house, going along any turns and corners. Measure doors and door frames, window frames, and any columns that will be lit. If hanging Christmas lights on peeks, climb carefully up a ladder and measure along the area of peak to be decorated.

Step 3 : Evaluate Hanging Surfaces

Begin by studying the roofline, gutters, and shingles. Christmas lights can be installed on any of these surfaces, but there are specific clips for each type of surface. Inspect how thick the gutter lip is, and how loose or tight the shingles on the roof are. Do the gutters get in the way of the shingles?
Locate power sources. Measure how many feet of power cord will be required to extend from the power source to the beginning of the roofline.

Step 4 : Choose the Right Lights for Your Job

Purchasing bulbs and stringers separately has many advantages, including better selection in wire color, easy replacements of bad bulbs, and ability to change out bulb colors each season. For large or custom lighting projects, purchase a spool and cut wire as needed, keeping in mind that a shorter runs of lights is easier to handle when perched on a ladder.

Step 5 : Calculate Power Wattage

Lighting professionals calculate power wattage to prevent overloading the circuit or blowing a fuse. To determine wattage multiply the wattage of the bulb by the number of sockets, and divide by 115 to reach total amps. For example, 5 watt bulbs x 125 sockets / 115 = 5.43 amps. The total amps must be less than 10% of the total amps the wire is rated for.

Step 6 : Chooses the Right  Christmas Light Clip

Choosing the best clips for the project is key. There is a large selection of clips for every application in hanging Christmas lights, whether hanging Christmas lights from gutters, high peaks, flat roof tops, siding, paint, or brick. Study which clips will work best with the roofline, shingles, or gutters, and pay attention to which bulb sockets will fit in each clip. All-in-one clips are a great pick because they work with the largest variety of bulbs and applications. It's usually better to attach Christmas lights to the clips on the ground, climbing carefully up the ladder with only one string of lights at a time. Take caution not to let bulbs hit the ladder or walls while climbing on the ladder to prevent bulbs getting broken during installation.

Step 7 : Stand Back and Enjoy!

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