What are some ways to use rope lighting throughout the year? With creative blogs a plenty, the ideas are seemingly endless. They can be used in very conventional ways, but they are also finding themselves outside the box, so to speak. One such way is as a seedling warmer. These lights emit enough warmth to help a seedling grow roots so that it will be ready for planting. Even though this lighting typically is used as ambient illumination or to highlight an area, they are also taking center stage when wrapped as a sphere and hung from the ceiling, patio, or large tree branches.
What are other ways in which rope lighting is finding its usefulness?
- Highlighting walkways and stairs
- Wrapping the perimeter of a patio or grass area
- Illuminating flower boxes or flower beds
- Wrapped around the trunk and branches of a tree
- Used as illumination on an awning, arbor or gazebo
- Create ambient lighting for a spa and pool area
During the holidays, they are often seen wrapping a tree, framing the house and its windows, or used to highlight a large cutout. Their outdoor usage can continue in illuminating a banister and handrail of the porch or entry, as well as adding light to potted plants.
Creative interior uses are acting as a backlight for artwork and headboards, as well as being art itself. This illumination can be used to write words or names, and then mounted on the wall either by using wire or wood, whichever would give the desired artistic effect.
Party lights are the perfect solution to transform a drab get-together into a festive and memorable event. These kinds of strands are different from a typical strand as they are thematically linked, making them perfect for all kinds of celebrations. The best part about them is that they require no crafting or careful planning since they come out-of-the-box ready to hang. Since there is a great variety to choose from, there’s naturally many places where you can decorate with them.
Outdoor events are some of the best places to light up the night. There are strands with football bulbs for sports events, and beer mug strands for a guy’s get-together or man cave decorations. These are perfect for the garage as well, adding a bit of decorative flair to an otherwise ordinary space. The butterfly strands are great for outdoor gardens, greenhouses, or any decorative area of the lawn. They add a splash of color to the area as well as a bit of whimsy. Try stringing regular white bulbs into a tree and then add some of these festive strands hanging from the bottom branches to create an elegant look.
Party lights are also ideal for decorating in and around the house. For those that don’t have the time to create elaborate decorations, these are the best solution. Game rooms and nurseries are just some of the places that can be dressed up with decorative strands. The diamond star and snowmen strands are the best indoor compliment for the holiday festivities, while the assorted faux-candle fixtures are great for year-round ornaments. Most any event or get-together can go from forgettable to remarkable with the addition of some festive strands and some creative placement.
Using Christmas lights in outdoor areas can be a great way to explore creative ideas for decorating. Whether the look is traditional or out-of-the-box, there are a multitude of different ways in which to decorate the house, driveway and yard. With some simple planning and foresight, one can easily get the house ready for the holiday celebrations without a bunch of needless work or stress.
Using trees, bushes, or pillars to hold the strands is always a good bet on achieving an elegant and arranged look. Instead of using a single color or multi-colored strands, try interlacing two separate color strands on trees or pillars to get a candy cane striped effect. The same could be done with bushes, or to add a bit of flair, try wrapping bushes in a checkerboard or striped pattern in order to make them pop. Garland can definitely be used to spruce up any standard strand of bulbs, such as lining the outline of the front door or hanging across the fence or gates.
Using Christmas lights in outdoor places doesn’t mean it has to follow a certain design standard. For those interested in a unique look, allow the strands to follow a wavy path throughout the tree, rather than hugging the branches. Spirals and other patterns can be created this way as well, and it doesn’t take any additional labor. If the house has a front porch or an overhang of any kind, let the strands hang from the roofline to the grass in a vertical pattern. If multiple strands are used, a sort of wall of bulbs effect can be created and is sure to attract any onlookers.
Nothing brings back childhood memories like Christmas lighting up and down the rows of houses. These iconic holiday decorations have been popular for over 100 years and have seen a great deal of change in the technology and variety since their inception. People have become increasingly creative with the ways they decorate with these fixtures, giving near limitless options to the would-be decorator in all of us.
It doesn’t take an experienced crafter to be able to use the strands creatively. On the contrary, many of the proposed uses for festive bulbs during and after the holidays is rather simple and just takes a bit of creativity. For outdoor events, add a little flair to a typical strand of festive bulbs by poking each of them through the bottom end of a Dixie cup. Different colored cups and varying thicknesses can create all types of interesting looks, sprucing up any outdoor get together.
Nearly anything can be accentuated with the addition of some clever Christmas lighting. An inexpensive wire basket, found in nearly any garden and home center, can have its wires intertwined with strands of the festive bulbs, bringing any humdrum item to life by emphasizing its shape and illuminating the area around it. Another simple trick is to pack a single strand into a mason jar, creating a sort of firefly in a bottle illusion. Battery operated lights can be used for this craft and enable kids to walk around the yard with their jar of “fireflies.”
Battery powered lights continue to grow in popularity when it comes to holiday décor, but even outside of that seasonal realm. For people who have allergies to scents but enjoy the warm glow of a candle, flameless candles have been a perfect alternative. Even those that have small children or pets that have shied away from igniting candles are opting for battery powered candle lights as a safer alternative. And thanks to recent advancements, there is no longer a sense of sacrifice when choosing this option. Batteries are lasting longer due to the different bulb usage like LEDs, and the intricate workings have become more streamlined, which also helps prolong the life of the light.
Cordless illumination and battery operated candles have also opened the door to adding illumination to things that before were either unsafe or impossible. Lighting up jars filled with shiny ornaments or shimmering pinecones adds cheer to an area or corner that could not be done before. Leaving an illuminated centerpiece unattended when the family is over no longer carries the fear that the toddler will climb on the table and hurt themselves by the flame or hot wax. Lighting the wreath on the front door no longer consists of fraying an extension cord between the door and frame and running the risk of a short or electrical fire when a wire becomes exposed. Now a homeowner can wrap the wreath in cordless illumination and set a timer for it to shine while visitors come and go.
The glow of holiday lights has always been magical, but thankfully they are now much safer than they once were. Back in the 1700s people lit their Christmas trees with candles. They would place them on the branches using a clothespin or melted wax. They could only use them for short periods of time and under a very watchful eye. As this tradition grew in popularity, so did the house fires. It wasn’t until 1880 when Thomas Edison used the first strand of bulbs to illuminate his compound’s exterior during the Christmas season. The passengers at the local train station saw the glow and were instantly awestruck. They wanted to know how he did it and how they could use the same illumination on their own homes.
Fast forward to the early 1900’s and a band of brothers sought out a way to manufacture and produce safe holiday lights. It wasn’t long until these strands became a household item each Christmas season. Long gone are the days of increased fire danger due to dried out trees and hot-to-the-touch bulbs. Now, bulbs are much cooler, and some emit no heat at all. This has lessened the risk of house fires during the season rather dramatically.
Christmas bulbs have also changed in their appearance over the decades. They now come in icicles shapes, swags, and nets to name a few. Now there are dozens of novelty types as well. Snowmen are doing the hula, Santa is hanging ten, flamingos, cacti, and even sports themes can adorn any tree, patio or a man cave.
Outdoor Christmas decorations have come a long way in recent years. Whether it is the size of the display or the amount of lights one is most interested in, this is a trend that doesn’t seem to be waning. LED technology has made it more affordable than ever for homeowners to really deck the halls. Holiday decorations are benefiting from this technology as well with their longer life span and more vibrant colors.
One popular exterior display is the nativity scene. They typically start with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus and can be expanded upon. There are stables, the Star of Bethlehem, shepherds and livestock at a minimum. Most displays are made of a plastic composite, but some are made of other materials.
Projectors have also changed the way homeowners show off their displays. Take for instance a light flurries snowflake projector. This shoots the images of snowflakes across the building’s exterior to give the look of falling snow. Pair this with a selection of snowmen, Santa, his sleigh, and some reindeer to complete a North Pole experience.
Some complimentary decorations are large candles and ornaments. Ornaments can take the barren trees of winter and give them some life. These colorful, hanging ornaments add detail to any outside display. The large candles can flank a driveway or entryway nicely, or can go in the yard amongst some shrubbery.
In addition to these, there are the Christmas lights themselves. These come in a variety of lengths and styles. There are also some funny ones that can add detail or a whimsy nature to the outdoor Christmas decorations. Look online to find the best variety of lights and other decorations.
It seems that battery operated lights have become a staple of many homes, and not just during the holidays. However, the holidays is where this cordless illumination really shines, pardon the pun. The battery-powered strands are used in everything from Christmas ornaments, wreaths, mason jars and garland, and everything else holiday-related. Popular websites are listing all kinds of ways in which to employ this lighting, and the trend doesn’t seem to be stopping. That is because of the great output that these strands emit, thanks to technological upgrades and the use of LED bulbs.
So what are some ways that people are incorporating them into their holiday décor? One way is using them with mason jars, another item being used in numerous ways. They can be used as votive holders or pillar candles, all flameless, of course. This makes them usable not just indoors, but outdoors as well. Using battery operated lights means there is no longer a requirement for exterior outlets or only using illuminated décor near an interior outlet. This has allowed homeowners and decorators the ability to expand decorating to new heights. It also means that using illumination no longer carries a risk. Without an open flame or cramming a strand over or under a door or closed window, fire danger is dramatically cut. This is a win-win for everyone. For example, how many times have people wanted a lighted wreath on their front door only to be forced to run the cord over the door, and with the continual opening and closing of the door creating wear and tear on the power cord. Eventually, this cord becomes frayed and can short out, resulting in a fire. No longer is this the case with battery operated lights. Now a wreath can be hung from the front door without fear and bring joy to all who enter the home.
Christmas lights continue to reinvent themselves. Whether it is an artist using them in their artwork, or crafters using them to illuminate their creations, the list in where to use them continues to grow. A quick search on the web will result in a multitude of ideas flooding the screen.
What are some ways to add charm to holiday décor using Christmas lights? The list here continues to grow as well. Some quick ideas for the homes interior are placing strands inside of mason jars or globes of different sizes. Battery operated lights work well here too. Then grouping them on the mantle with some garland and other décor adds a beautiful and safe alternative to candles. These could also be part of a centerpiece. Using a large vase or bowl filled with shiny ornaments and lights is another fabulous use.
When using the light strands outside, try placing them inside large lanterns with large trimmings from the tree and put them to the side of the front door. Or, separate the lanterns and place them on the steps leading up to the door. Rather than wrapping tree branches, hang them among the trees in the same way that people would string lights over a backyard patio.
Different ways to display holiday greeting cards is by taking a single strand of lights and make a zigzag formation on the wall or inside an oversized picture frame. Then attach the cards using decorative pins. There are also numerous ideas in which to use the strands when decorating bedrooms, including draping them with the window treatments, or making the outline of a Christmas tree on a child’s bedroom wall.
Most people know the benefits of using LED Christmas lights. From their low energy cost to their longevity, they are quickly becoming the holiday illumination of choice. However, there still are some that aren’t quite sold on the product. That is likely due to their lackluster appearance when they first hit the market. They had poor output and aesthetically were not that appealing. That is no longer the case, and these are now the go-to illumination for manufacturers of holiday items.
The commercial market is where LED Christmas lights got their start. Businesses quickly learned how cost-efficient they were as their utility bills saw a break during the time of year when they are typically spiked. Commercial holiday decorations can cost a pretty sum of cash to keep lit for several hours, so using LEDs was a no-brainer once cost was a reality. This translated into the residential market, but not as quickly. It took some time and study to show their effectiveness and usefulness to the average homeowner. Now, manufacturers go to great lengths on the packaging to show the consumer the cost saving, energy saving potential, and the longevity of the bulbs.
Today, it is unlikely that anyone can drive a block in their neighborhood without seeing dozens of strands of LED illumination. Technology has so improved these bulbs that they are seen everywhere, and for good reason. A traditional strand is typically good for one or two seasons before having to replace at least one if not multiple bulbs. LED strands have a much longer lifespan and guarantee at least 4,000 hours of runtime without dimming. And even in these 4,000 hours of run time, the consumer is going to see a third cut from their average holiday utility bill.
LED Christmas lights have also expanded the battery-operated market. Long gone are the days of ill-lit wreaths, centerpieces, and tabletop trees. These bulbs are bright and use significantly less battery life to operate. This leads to a longer life of the strand and greater enjoyment of the decoration.