5 Things to Know Before You Hang Holiday Lights Outside

Measure Before You Shop

Calculate how many linear feet of string you need by measuring around windows and doors and along the roof-line—wherever you’re running lights. Once you’ve tallied the linear feet, check the lighting’s package for the length. Determine the distance between the outdoor socket and where the run of lights starts, and use an appropriate length of outdoor-rated extension cord to avoid having lights go straight to the socket.

Choose the Right Bulb

If you like the look of warm white lights with a slight yellow cast, incandescent bulbs are your best bet, especially for smaller jobs, like lighting a wreath or a garland. They’re generally less expensive than LEDs, but they have a shorter life span and consume 80 percent more energy. For bigger jobs, go with more-efficient LEDs. They’re available in a wide range of styles, from minis and colorful retro-style C7s to larger globes. The quality of the light varies with LEDs, so look for wording such as “soft white” or “classic white” on the packaging to avoid bulbs with a cool blue undertone.

Consider Spacing

The distance between individual lights is all over the map. Take a tape measure with you to determine the spacing between lights, and buy sets that come with less than 12 inches between bulbs. Typically, larger bulbs, like chunky C7s or C9s for the roof, look best when the lights are between 6 and 10 inches apart. Smaller lights or minis should be spaced more tightly to avoid having to wrap a mailbox post or a column multiple times.

Don’t Forget the Trees

For conifers, go with this rule of thumb: 100 lights per every vertical foot of tree. And opt for larger bulbs that won’t get lost when viewed from the street. For deciduous trees, minis work fine, and you can make quick work of wide trunks with a net of lights. But if the tree is less than 4 feet in circumference, stick with string lights. For shrubs, use mini lights with 25 to 50 lights per set on a green cord—they’ll blend in much better than netted lights. Tuck them into shrubs in a random pattern, keeping the strings 4 to 6 inches apart. And wrapping bulbs running between bushes with black electrical tape saves you from having to buy blackout caps.

Power Up—Carefully

LEDs are often spaced closer together than incandescent, and you can string more of them end to end. For that reason, it’s a good idea to limit incandescent mini bulbs to 10 strings of 50 lights for one plug. With LEDs, you can go up to nearly 50 strings, each with 70 lights. Don’t assume all lights are designed for outdoor use; wrap all connections between strings with electrical tape to keep moisture out. Always plug lights into a covered outlet protected with a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)—running cords from inside the house through a window or a mail slot is a fire hazard.

3 Writing Tips to Fix up your Home Improvement Blog

With different content ideas floating around the Internet about home improvement, it’s quite difficult to engage regular readers or right target audience. Especially the competition is quite tough in the home improvement industry where thousands of people are writing about the same things repeatedly.

It looks like a great challenge to inform readers about the right things as the ideas get lost in the crowd quickly. So, I think you should never be a follower if you can be a trendsetter.

Thus, if you are running a home improvement blog, follow these tips to improve your writing and engage more readers.

Find out some fresh and unique ideas:

Sometimes we find it very easy to pick the famous ideas from the list of top ten things, or anything that happens to be trending around. But the best way to bring readers to your home improvement blog is, give them something they have never read before. Find out some interesting and unique ideas to spread knowledge and awareness, rather than writing down on some old and boring topics. If you have ever performed home improvement for your own place, then tell the story in an informal way and let the readers guide through your own experience. You can show them the comparative picture of what happens in the 1980s and what happens in 2019. In this way, you are providing them the information about the latest trends by comparing with the old ones.

Give them something useful to read, rather than fanciful renovations!

I have observed one strange thing about home remodeling blog, we all love to fantasize and give readers the imagination that there is nothing prettier and nicer than this kitchen renovation. However, if someone gives me such a fantasy house, then he must give me an army of maids to clear up the mess.

The right way is, if you want to engage readers and want them to come back to read your posts again, then you must provide them something that can fill their need and they find it useful. So, instead of writing something about fanciful renovations that people are never likely to tackle easily, give them something real, interesting and useful to read and apply in practical life.

Add interesting photos to make them look real!

Any home improvement blog can never look complete or attractive if it’s lacking some interesting photos. People will read ‘5 unique color combinations for your bedroom’. They will find it interesting, but when they will click the article and find no pictures in the post, they might lose their interest and close it immediately without reading further. Colorful photos always help you engage readers and keep them busy until the end. If you are writing something about ‘How-to’, the addition of proper diagrams would increase the worth of your article and it might get more leads, shares, likes and comments on social media platforms.

People always search unique, well-written and real ideas. If you exaggerate and fantasize the things, you won’t be able to retain the interest of readers, hence they will find other sources to fill their need. If you want to drive more clicks and leads through your blog, then its best to find interesting home improvement ideas first, then follow the above-mentioned practices to stand out from the crowd.