Deck the Halls: Outdoor Holiday Lighting Built to Last
Holiday decorating is the highlight of the season for many, many people. Millions every year deck their halls, their eaves, and their trees and bushes with lights. Some put on fantastic front yard displays. Some become twinkling gingerbread houses with every corner lined in twinkling lights. There is always the charming lantern house, the icicle house, and the house with the most welcoming front porch in every neighborhood.
If you are thinking of holiday lighting ideas this winter, consider not just strings and icicles, but also long-term holiday lighting solutions. Why not incorporate styles into your home that become beautiful holiday lighting? Why not do improvements that make each year's light stringing safer and more convenient?
Let's talk about outdoor holiday lighting ideas that are built to last.
Place Lanterns on Your Fence Posts
There are many year-round lighting designs that also look incredible during the holidays. Certain types of lanterns bring back memories of watching A Christmas Carol and cartoon depictions of the North Pole. One of these perfect dual-purpose designs is fence-topper lanterns.
Lanterns designed to top a fence post look elegant and provide a gentle, welcoming light any time of year, but look especially appropriate when wreathed and ribboned around the holidays.
Install Permanent Holiday Lighting Outlets
If you are the kind of person or family who put up strings of lights every year, make it easy for yourself. As a homeowner, it is your right and joy to install outdoor outlets that are easily reached by string light cords, and hooks to permanently support string lights where you put them every year. You can even have an electrician install a separate home circuit just for your outdoor lights so that you never blow the house breakers again.
Permanent holiday lighting outlets provide a safe and enjoyable holiday decorating routine. While you're at it, take a look at the ground around your eaves and re-landscape any trouble spots that have been uneven or hard to access in the past.
Ring Your Planters in Garden Lights
Ringing your planters and landscaping lines in lights is a popular choice for string light decorations during the holidays, but they also look good year-round. With the ability to control the color of modern string lights, a permanent planter installation can be an elegant all-season choice.
As LEDs become more accessible and attractive, many homes are now moving to year-round landscape lighting that takes the form of holiday lights around the holidays. This includes lining your flower beds, planters, and landscaped paths with permanent outdoor lights.
Incorporate Your Landscape Lights
Of course, if you already have landscape lighting and ambient home lighting, use it! Place smart bulbs in your existing garden light fixtures and take control of the color, intensity, and even music-synced pulses of the lights outside your house. You can transform a tastefully lit home into a holiday party at any time simply by changing the color of the glow they cast.
Hanging Old-Fashioned Lanterns from the Eaves
Another interesting long-term light fixture option is hanging lanterns. If you only want to bring out the lanterns on your eaves and pergola beams for special occasions, provide yourself with outlets, cable runs, and sturdy hooks for each lantern. Or you can have your lanterns installed to provide a festive glow to every outdoor gathering and approaching visitor.
Make Use of Smart Home Bulbs, Lights, and Apps
Lights were the first great display of smart home technology, and continue to lead the cutting-edge in home applications. Find light strips, bulbs, fixtures, and apps that work together to make an amazing holiday ambiance or a subtly well-lit space the rest of the year.
Smart home features allow you to change the color, intensity, pulse, and sometimes the ripple and flow of lights, especially light strings, grids, and icicle strands that are now fully RGB responsive to app controls. This can make for some truly impressive holiday and year-round home decor.
Diffuser Strips in Window Frames
Do you want to ring your windows in holiday lights? This is a fun and elegant way to decorate for almost any holiday using light strings, but now there are more permanent options available as well. Consider installing a ring of diffuser panels - frosted plastic or glass - into the outside of your window frames. Combined with a power lead, you can then install LED light strips (and even replace them every few years) while providing a soft color-controlled glow to the outside.
This can allow you to incorporate LED smart light controls and year-round window decor in a way that also will not stand out like a light string if the lights are off.
Light Up the Decks and Balconies
If you have a covered porch or even a second-story balcony, outdoor overhead lights can make the whole space feel more welcoming. Overhead lights that are obscured by a decorative overhang around the porch roof make the entire covered porch or balcony glow. Guests, visitors, and passers-by may feel beckoned to the warmly lit space in the nighttime, and your outdoor gatherings will feel lighter under the ceiling-reflected illumination.
During the holidays when your porch is decked in wreathes and strings of lights, a warm glow from overhead lighting will make it feel like a fairytale cottage. Outdoor fans are a popular choice because they also provide pleasant airflow when you are spending time outdoors enjoying your garden.
Design a Breathtaking Entry Arch
Another fun way to create a holiday-ready design that is beautiful all year is an entry arch. If you have a fence around your property, and especially if you have a walkway with it's own gate, give yourself a lit entry arch. An arch can be iron or wood, stretching over the entry gate to support warm, welcoming lanterns. This is your chance to get truly artistic with your front walk design for an effect that could perhaps be both spooky around Halloween and charming for the Holidays with just a few decorative changes.
Runway Lights for Driveway and Porch Stairs
One of the most useful all-year holiday decoration choices is runway lights. Softly glowing rows of lights along the edge of certain pathways are extremely useful. Runway lights up your driveway help people to back in and park evenly. People also often appreciate runway lights along an uneven walking path or highlighting the steps up to a raised porch. These can then be color-coded to the current holiday while providing elegant and extremely useful decor year-round.
Runway Lights on the Roof for Santa
Of course, there are always a few who will set santa scenes. If your household is known for your Santa pranks, facilitate your own rooftop antics with safety in mind. Give yourself outlets and anchors for santa's runway lights, sleigh debris, or flapping booted legs. A few strategic rooftop and near-rooftop installations can make your holiday antics much safer and open up design possibilities.
Let Us Help
Here at Urban Ambiance, we specialize in light fixtures. Indoors, outdoor, big, or small; we'll help you light it. The holidays are a great time not just for temporary light strings, but also for thinking long-term about how to beautifully light your home and save yourself some ladder time in the future. For more holiday lighting ideas or to discuss lighting installations with our experts, contact us today.