Holiday Lights“ Is your house on fire, Clark?”

“ No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.”

This delightful interchange is just one of many in the comical Christmas classic, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. This holiday romp is a favorite tradition among many. There is no doubt that when the weather begins to chill and the carols begin to play, countless television networks will air this 1989 hit for our viewing pleasure.

With Christmas just around the corner and an upcoming weekend of fifty degree weather predicted in Chicagoland, those that have not yet lit decorated their homes may be looking at a weekend of Christmas lights and ladders. Enjoy (or take heed in) these quick tips about exterior decoration.

  • If your goal is to blind your neighbors and serve as a landing strip for the local airline, then the key is brightness. You can look for light strings that have the bulbs closely spaced. Or, simply line up two or three strings of lights side-by-side to achieve the density required for a greater brightness. We recommended zip tying the strings together at various points to ensure they stay parallel.
  • When preparing to hang lights or other decorations, study the surface you will be securing the adornments to. Take into account the thickness and flexibility of the roof lines, door frames, windows and other areas to ensure you are utilizing the proper mounting tools and materials.
  • Preparation is key. Before you climb up on the rooftop to test the landing surface for Santa, make sure the lights are working properly. The average lifespan for a string of lights is 3,000 hours and can be shortened by a plethora of different factors. So if by chance your strings are at 3,001 hours, it would be wise to make that discovery on flat ground.

Have a great Holiday Season and be safe!