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Christmas Lights for Your Home – How Many is too Many?

Christmas Lights for Your Home – How Many is too Many?

Halloween has happened, Bonfire Night is over, and the madness of Black Friday has come and gone. This can only mean one thing; it is officially time to get excited about Christmas.

The most festive and fun time of the year is upon us and as the nation starts to dig out the Christmas decorations from the loft, many people are beginning to plan their Christmas lights displays. Nothing screams festive quite like the twinkle of fairy lights, but for some, a simple string of flickering lights is not nearly festive enough.

For those who really love the festive season, there can be no greater pleasure than transforming a home into a winter wonderland of shiny lights and dazzling displays. Whether you prefer to turn the inside of your home into a Santa’s grotto, or whether you prefer to make a real bold showcase outside your front door with an outside lighting display, one thing is for sure; you can expect a rather large electricity bill under the tree this Christmas!

So, is there such a thing as too many Christmas lights? How many is too many? Or is it always a case of the more the merrier during the festive period?

Indoor lighting

When you think Christmas, you think Christmas tree decorated with a glimmering string of fairy lights and plenty of decorations, but your festive fluorescent don’t need to stop at the tree. Fairy lights are ideal for stringing amongst wreaths to create beautiful decorations around the home. Fireplaces and banisters can also be adorned with fairy lights strung and weaved along them. This can create welcoming and festive features within your home. Battery operated fairy lights are now becoming a very popular Christmas decoration as they are available in

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such a wide variety of designs. Whether you opt to decorate your home with bright bold colours and shapes or whether you prefer a more natural and Nordic feel to your Christmas decorations; there is a type of fairy light decoration for you.

The most traditional Christmas light displays are those which incorporate candles. Traditionally the advent countdown involved lighting a candle every Sunday in the run up to Christmas. Lighting your home with candles creates a warming and welcoming glow; perfect for the winter months. Large candles create centre showpieces and smaller tea lights can be used to light up coloured glass decorations.

Whether you opt for lights plugged into the mains, battery operated lights or candles when you are creating your festive displays, it is important to remember to stay safe to prevent fire. Switch all fairy lights off at the wall when you leave the house or go to bed at night, turn off battery operated lights at the same time too and never leave a candle unattended.

Outdoor lighting

While indoor Christmas lighting is usually soft and designed to create a cosy, log cabin in the forest kind of feel, outdoor lighting is almost the exact opposite. Nothing quite catches the eye light outdoor Christmas lights and seeing them decorate houses when you’re out and about is often one of the big things that makes you get in the festive spirit.

There is a huge amount of outdoor lights available at Christmas ranging from strings of outdoor fairy lights to free standing light displays in a range of styles. From light up penguins, Santa’s and elves to moving reindeer lights and full-blown light displays; whether you prefer subtle or big and bold, no matter what your style there are outdoor Christmas lights to suit you.

Of course, extensive outdoor light displays take plenty of time to set up and take down and we’ve not even talked about how much running a large outdoor display can cost during the winter months. But if you can spare the time and the expense then why not express your Christmas cheer through the medium of brightly lit festive figures.

For safety reasons, all your outdoor lights should be plugged in to weather proof power units to protect them form the miserable winter weather. It is advisable that you don’t have them turned on when you are not in the house and if you have a large outdoor lighting display then you may want to consider your neighbours when deciding what time to turn your lights off at night.

Lighting up for a good cause

While outdoor Christmas lights may bring you some Christmas cheer, they can also bring goodwill to others. Houses and even whole streets up and down the country often decorate the exterior of their homes to true excess every year to bring people to their street and help to raise some cash for a worthy cause.

Alex Goodhind from Wiltshire spends weeks decorating the outside of his home in over £17,000 worth of Christmas lights and decorations every year in order to raise money for the hospice which treated his mother. Over £15,000 has been raised for Dorothy House as people come to see the 200,000 lights which cover the Wiltshire home.

The Brailsford family have been decorating their Bristol home since 1994 in an ever-increasing amount of Christmas lights to raise money for The Grand Appeal, a charity raising money for the local children’s hospital. Recent light switch-ons have attracted plenty of locals who come to see the display, which has even included a life-sized nativity scene all the way from America.

More than £72,000 has been raised over 10 years by a street in Somerset where every house on the street is decorated with over 100,000 Christmas lights and displays. Some of the displays include moving reindeer, illuminated trees, lanterns and even a working toy train display.

A couple of years ago a video went viral after Tom BetGeorge from Newark, USA uploaded a video of his house at Christmas performing a musical light show to the songs from Star Wars. Over 100,000 lights were used to create the show which was watched by millions of people all over the world and donations collected at his home were given to his local church to help the local homeless population.

Whatever opinion you have on Christmas lighting and how much Is too much, there’s certainly something special and welcoming about seeing the glow of lights around this time of year.

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Phoebe Skinner

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