The Holiday Season is here! Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, you can begin to light up the night with a home as bright as your holiday cheer. Grab your hot chocolate and read on for our advice on how to make a light display that your neighbors will envy.


Step One: Planning

Carefully plan and measure what you’ll need before you buy.

First, sketch out your overall design. Spend some time thinking about what will go where in your space, especially if you’re considering extra-large items like blow-ups of snowmen or reindeer. Remember that smaller spaces (like a front porch or mailbox garden) can add a lot when it comes to light displays.

As you plan the layout, don’t forget to look at your overall display zone. Decide whether shrubs and trees can be used as focal points, and if lit-up walkways and borders will be part of your look. Also choose where you want the eyes of passersby to focus on, whether it’s the main entrance of the house, a garden bed, central tree, or another area.



If you want, you can create “theme” areas such as a workshop, or to keep with the beach theme of Bahia Verde furniture and palm trees.

Once you know the design elements and the effect you’re going for, you’re ready to decide on the lighting you’ll use to get there.



Step Two: Consider Various Lighting Forms

Bulb lights come in two main varieties —incandescent and LED. LEDs are usually more expensive up front but give the advantage of lasting 2-3 times longer than incandescent bulbs, so in the long run, they can help you save on your holiday electric bills over the years. LEDs are also less likely to break than glass incandescent bulbs.

On the other hand, incandescent bulbs are less expensive in the short run, and may be easier on the eyes. LEDs can be very bright, while incandescent lights are warmer, and offer a more subtle feel within your lighting scheme.

A key piece of advice for a coherent display: once you’ve decided on a bulb type, stick to it. Don’t mix the two.


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Besides the familiar bulb light strings, here are a few other types of lighting to consider:

Rope lights—made up of small lights linked together and encased in a PVC jacket, these colorful, versatile, and flexible options can help you get your creative juices flowing. They’re great on porch columns, around doorway and window frames, or wound over outcroppings to create intricate designs. Pick white or clear lights, or choose your favorite colors and spell out a holiday message, or your family name.



Keep in mind that rope lights come in different voltages and can be powered by batteries, or plugged in, so consider available power sources when planning. Also, the encased lights can be either LED, or incandescent—LED lights require less energy and generate less heat.


Icicle lights are another artsy type of lighting. As the name suggests, these are string lights that mimic the appearance of icicles hanging on peaks and windows. Icicle lights are perfect if you want to create a snowy winter scene. They help you craft a “winter wonderland” when real snow lays on the ground and can evoke a nostalgic vibe feel when surrounded by palm trees.



You could also try net lights on your shrubs, hedges, bushes, or if you’re feeling ambitious, tree branches. Net lights are just that: netting with small light bulbs at the “joints” of the net. Simply throw them over the foliage—or any other object—and they’ll take on the shape and character. They come in white light and colored light, and you can use them as an easy way to brighten up a walkway, or accent your Bahia Verde outdoor furniture.


If you have a design, logo, pattern, or other image you’d like to project, the side of your house, or any flat outdoor surface can take on an identity of its own. If you’re a DIY fan, it’s as simple as placing a cutout image in front of the light source or projector. And while you have the projector out, invite people over, bring out the hot cocoa, and show your favorite holiday movies while sitting in cozy Bahia Verde chairs!



Step Three: Set the Tone with Color

After you have your lighting type picked out, it’s time to think about color. Do you want a traditional red, green, and white array, a more monochromatic palette of white lights, or modern-looking colors (such as blue)? 

Be sure to consider the other decorations you want to incorporate as well. If you have a giant reindeer, or snowman, for example, white lights would be a great complementary element.


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Double-Check your Measurements

Once you know your lighting type and the colors you want, take your measurements one more time. You may have done it before choosing lights, but it never hurts to check one more time and make sure you have the space you need for a beautiful display.

Using a tape measure, determine the main landscape, or other elements you want to highlight, and measure out the length of the light strings needed to achieve your goal. Measure more than once to be sure it’s all accurate before you buy.



Other Tips

Here are a few other points to keep in mind:

Inspect wires and bulbs before you hang them. Some bulbs burn out over time, and wires can become brittle. This is especially important if you use the same decorations each year.

Use plastic hooks, or clips as opposed to nails. Plastic can be easier to use and is much safer around electricity.

Don’t string too many sets of lights together. If you’re using the electricity from your house, you don’t want to overload your circuits.

With all this in mind, your house is set to be the best of the block. Happy Holidays from your friends at Bahia Verde Outdoors!


December 01, 2023 — Gabi Slucki