It's Christmas time: Put up the lights

Dazzling displays like this one are a wonderful way to share the Christmas spirit and provide joy to families who like to map out their own Christmas light viewing trails.
Dazzling displays like this one are a wonderful way to share the Christmas spirit and provide joy to families who like to map out their own Christmas light viewing trails.

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Planning a Christmas lights display to wow your neighbourhood? Here are a few tips to help you do so safely and economically.

Plan: Don’t leave it until the last minute to unroll and test out lights so you can easily replace faulty ones before you have gone ahead and installed them. Ensure you do not overload your switchboard or put up lights near anything flammable or have a dangerous mess of cords and wires around. Only use outdoor lights outside and turn them off at night to reduce the risk of fire.

Lights should be firmly attached to your house so they don’t blow away in wild weather. Seek advice from your local hardware store about what hooks and fasteners you can use to keep your decorative sleighs, snowmen or Santas in place. Consider installing temporary festive fencing and signs to direct foot traffic so your garden does not get trampled on by visitors.

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Save: LED Christmas lights use up to 90 per cent less energy than older, incandescent bulbs, according to energy supplier Origin Energy, and this can produce big savings. Why not try solar powered lights that charge through the day and shine at night? They can last up to six hours with around eight to 10 hours of solar charge.

Height hazards: Use a sturdy ladder and have someone else to on hand to keep an eye on your and help you if you are working on the roof or up high. Wear non-slip shoes, ensure the rungs of the ladder are non-slip and avoid putting up your lights and decorations in stormy or wet conditions.

Donations:  If you are a homeowner with a dazzling display, consider signing up to one of the Christmas light fundraisers such as those offered by Make-A-Wish or the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation. This involves setting up a collection tin so appreciative visitors who come to see your lights can throw in a few spare coins that will be donated to that charity.

This story Love those lights first appeared on Cowra Guardian.