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Published: Wednesday, 12/9/2009

Holiday Lighting Tips to Please the Whole Neighborhood

Come the holiday season, neighborhoods across the country take on a whole new identity. Whereas a neighborhood might appear sleepy for 11 months a year, the tradition of holiday lighting can illuminate a town in a way unlike any other.

But holiday lighting involves more than just throwing some lights on the house and plugging them in. A good holiday lighting decoration involves careful planning to ensure it comes off looking as good as your imagination hopes it will be.

Plan ahead. Go outside and examine your property before drawing up a decorating plan. Make special note of available posts, trees, window moldings, doors, etc. that can be easily decorated and used as places to string up lights.

Find a focal point. The front door is often the best focal point for a lighting display.

Develop a theme if you're decorating the property as well. Randomly stringing lights about the property can end up looking foolish. If you're doing a reindeer lighting design on the roof, consider decorating the lawn with a Santa display.

Coordinate the decorating and enjoy the results.

Take measurements. Take rough measurements of the areas you will decorate and the distance to electrical outlets. A simple way to measure a tree for lights that will spiral around it in 1-foot rows is to multiply the circumference of the base times the height of the tree. A 10-foot tall tree with a 5-foot circumference would require 50 feet of lights.

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