Tips for Setting up Your Outdoor Christmas Decorations

There are many ways to set your outdoor Christmas decorations. You can be modest and just place some lights here or there to mark the occasion or you can go all out and turn your home into your neighborhood’s new artificial “sun”. Either way, there are quite a few tips and recommendations for setting up your outdoor Christmas decorations you might be interested in that will make the whole experience much more rewarding, safer, and enjoyable.

Outdoor Christmas decorations inspiration

Whether you’re brimming with excitement about how you’re going to decorate your home or you’re kind of tired even just by the idea of all the work ahead of you, spending some time for inspiration is always smart. There are few things more annoying than spending a full weekend setting up your outdoor Christmas decorations and then realizing you’re not happy with how they look.

So, why not start by giving the whole enterprise some thought and planning it out to the letter – what exactly is it that you want, how you want it, and how should you accomplish it. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Consider the style of your own home. What exactly does it look like? Is it a Tudor, a Victorian or a modern style? Is it a one-story or a multi-story house? Different styles call for different decorations. A Victorian home, for example, can be decorated to the max as long as it’s stylish. A single-story home or a ranch-style house usually looks best with more modest lighting, typically hanging around the roofline or along the entrance. Whatever you do, it’ll look best if it matches the home and property themselves.
  2. Consider your neighbors. Yes, the annoying part. After all, why can’t we just do what we like and decorate our own homes the way we like it, right? Well, we can, but when you’re walking by or to your home, it’s not just it that you’ll notice – you’ll notice all other houses around it as well. So, no matter how gorgeous or modest your home looks (whichever you prefer), it will almost always look even better if it fits with the style of those around you. So, a little brainstorming with the neighbors a month or a couple of weeks in advance can do wonders for the end result.
  3. Spend some time researching. You’re reading this so you’re on the right track, but why not Google a bit more or browse through a few magazines for more ideas? Alternatively, you can also walk by some high-end furnishing stores – they always offer some excellent ideas windows dressings.
  4. How about the music? Lights are cool, but lights + some Christmassy music can really add the “show” to “light show”!

Setting up Your Outdoor Christmas Decorations

Outdoor Christmas decorations preparation

Now that you’re flush with ideas, let’s talk preparations. This is probably the most important step, considering how complicated the whole endeavor can be. There are a lot of safety, monetary, and time-frame issues to consider, so if you want to make sure that your outdoor Christmas decorations will look their best in the end, it’s smart to be well prepared. Here are some thoughts on that subject:

  1. Examine your lights before you do anything with them. Yes, all of them, individually. It doesn’t matter if they are brand new from the shop or if you’ve unpacked your old family Christmas lights from the attic – every single bulb and every single inch of the cable needs to be checked for possible problems. Especially if you’ve been keeping your lights in the attic, the basement or the garage, the risk of rodent or insect damage on them is too significant to ignore, even if you don’t think you have a pest infestation on your hands.
  2. Locate, examine, and assess the power sources around your roofline and in your outdoor property. Most homes won’t even have a power outlet near the roof so the most probable option will be on the porch. However, if you’re planning to go a little over the top with your Christmas light decorations, one power outlet may not be enough – even with an extension cord, the required power may just be too much for a single outlet, so make sure you know how much electricity it can handle. If possible, secure at least two or three power outlets and use each of them sparingly to avoid any possible accident. You can also use some extension cords from your indoor power outlets to help out.
  3. Make sure you have the right assortment of tools for the job. A sturdy ladder, a bucket with a hook and a rope for lifting things up to the roof, quality nails, hammer, and other tools, are all a must.
  4. Use fasteners for the lighting. Also, make sure they are made out of plastic or other non-conductive material as metal nails and screws can cause problems, especially in the winter.
  5. Get a buddy to help. Whatever you’re planning to do and whatever your methodology is going to be, always be smart and get a friend or a family member to help you out – even if it’s just by standing behind you and watching passively.

Outdoor Christmas decorations installation

So, now that we’re ready, let’s put on the outdoor Christmas decorations and lighting themselves!

  1. Hang the lights on the fasteners. Be very careful and precise with every individual bulb and section of the cable.
  2. Add all other elements of your decoration afterward – non-lighting decorations, statuettes, lights on other parts of your property such as columns, porch railing, fences, and trees, and so on.
  3. Double-check everything! Make sure that it’s all both safely installed and looks as good as you had hoped.
  4. Test the different electrical components one by one and then in groups of two or three at a time. Don’t stress your electrical system all at once or you may blow quite a few fuses. Be slow and methodical, it’s better than to ruin your holidays.

And those are the basics! As long as you start ahead of time, make sure that what you’re planning is what you’d like, and you’re careful while putting everything together, you should easily make sure that you’re outdoor Christmas decorations will be exactly what you want them to be.


Blogger, editor, developer who loves green living. Interested in photovoltaics and solar lighting. Reviewing solar products since 2013.

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