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The air is beginning to chill again, which means it’s time to start gearing up for the holidays. There is no better tradition than walking or driving around your community, looking at the dazzling displays of lights that storefronts and homes alike have adopted to get into the Christmas spirit. The nip of December air mixed with the sparkle of festive lighting displays can warm hearts and charm even the most dedicated scrooges among us.

Everyone has a stockpile of Christmas lights that grace the façade of their homes in late November or early December. Estimates suggest that Americans spend around $50 each time the holiday season comes around, replacing dead bulbs or broken strands. Reports also suggest Americans collectively purchase more than 150 million new light strands each year. We are fully committed to the glorious tradition of holiday decoration, but often find decorating to be the most difficult part of executing a successful holiday at home with family.

Know the Cost before You Set Up

Before breaking out the box of lights, it’s important to calculate the costs that will add up over time. While we only commit a small fraction of our Christmas expenditures on new decorations, there are enormous hidden costs that catch up to us after the New Year rolls around. Just as important as constructing an impressive display is the task of understanding what it will entail.

You need to take into account the length of time your lights will be out and on display. It’s likely that they will stay out and lit for close to two months and burning throughout the evening hours each night. If you intend to build a large display that will impress your neighbors, the heightened electricity bill must be at the forefront of your plans.

Plan Your Display with Precision

In order to craft an impressive light show in your front yard, you need to approach the endeavor with care. This means visualizing and possibly even sketching the organization of lights you hope to bring into existence. If you attack the process with a firm plan in mind, it will be much easier to string your strands and find outlets to plug everything into.

Another key factor to consider is the type of light you intend to use. Keeping with the theme of electrical cost, it is necessary to consider upgrading your old lights or simply only using your newer LEDs. LED lights come at a slight premium, but their energy consumption calculates to a fraction of the required power of older style light bulbs. If you intend to partake in the decorating tradition year after year, then an upgrade is in order, as it will save you a pretty penny in the long run.

Simple is Elegant

Keeping your light display minimal rather than over the top can sometimes prove itself to net an even more striking visual image. Utilizing elegant strands like LED twinkling icicle lights can achieve this effect nicely. Icicle lights are simple yet create an unmistakable magical scene dangling around your home.

By using a simple layout rather than going wild with colors, blow-up creatures, and mismatched themes, you can create a neat and stunningly beautiful light display that will wow all who pass your neighborhood street. The contrast of brilliant light with night’s darkness creates a harmony that is absent in the energy of some of the more over-the-top light shows. Not to mention that by using a minimalist layout, you will surely save on your bill later on.

This year, think smarter with your holiday decorations. Go for LEDs and prepare in advance for both the setup and later costs that will follow you into January. End your year with a hit and begin the next on a fresh, upbeat note with a dazzling and sensible light display.