3 Ways To Have The Most Beautiful Holiday Lights

13 Dec

How Your Lights Can Be Safe, Stunning and Saved for Posterity

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Image from Landscape Illuminations on Houzz

Holiday lights in and outside your home can be a lovely way to celebrate the season — not to mention light up the nights that come earlier and earlier as the year draws to a close. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your lights are hazard-free, pretty and commemorated.

1. Safety

  • Be sure to check that the lights you use outside are labeled “for outside use”
  • Don’t string together more lights than the manufacturer warrants is safe
  • Make sure all the lights inside and out are off (or on a timer) when you leave the house
  • Fasten lights securely against wind and weather
  • Use insulated or plastic hooks or nails to attach lights where you want them
  • For more, check out these Safety Tips from PG&E

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Image from Lowes Home Improvement on Houzz

2. Beauty

  • Plan your lighting and make sure you have enough lighting to bring your vision to life
  • Come up with a theme or idea — take advantage of features of your home: outline all your windows and roofline, scatter lights throughout the shrubbery fronting your home, wrap all the tree trunks
  • Create the simply and stunning luminaries pictured above with some vinyl flashing and a drill (and a few candles) — for details on this DIY project, go to Lowes Home Improvement Idea Library

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Image from Ebirge9’s Holiday Cheer Board on Pinterest

3. Photography

  • Remember the “magic hour” — that time of evening when the sky is lit by a magical, mystical blue and the sun has dipped below the horizon but hasn’t actually set
  • For shooting outdoor lights, try turning the flash off
  • Remember that the higher your ISO setting, the better you can shoot in the dark (higher ISO also means more “noise” — so you may want to experiment to find your personal compromise between lighting and noise)
  • If your camera has an “Auto” setting, look for a night or night scene mode
  • Indoors, try shooting both with and without your flash, for completely different results — you may be surprised which you like more
  • If you’re using your smartphone, check out apps like Snapseed (iOS, Android and desktop), Camera+ (iOS) and After Focus (iOS and Android)— for shots like the one of the lights behind the bench above — to help you take or make better pictures
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