‘Tis the season to pull your holiday decorations from self storage and fill your home with Christmas spirit. But untangling lights and preparing to hang them probably isn’t your favorite part of the festivities. Your first step is to put on your favorite holiday music to make this chore more enjoyable. Next, follow the advice below on untangling, checking, and hanging lights.
Untangling Christmas Lights
It’s tempting to just buy new lights if yours look like one frustrating tangled mess, but that can get expensive and excessive if you do it every year. Try these tips first instead, and remember to properly organize your lights when placing them in storage for next year.
- Find a fairly open space to allow room for the strings of lights to stretch out on the floor. Also, make sure you’ve got an outlet near by to plug in and test the bulbs.
- Gather all your strings of lights. If you were organized last year before placing them in self storage, hopefully they are concentrated in just a few boxes or bins. Separate them by location: inside or outside the house.
- With everything unplugged, find a free end and get to work. Undo knots by stringing the free end through the tangles. Be careful not to rush or may break bulbs. Once you’ve made some progress, watch where you place the untangled piece so it doesn’t become tangled again.
- Plug in the untangled strands to test them. Check for broken bulbs and sockets, frayed cords, burned out lights, and loose connections.
- For bulbs that won’t light, it may only be a matter of tightening the bulb. If this doesn’t work, you can purchase a simple light repair kit from any home improvement store.
Christmas Light Safety
- Always read the manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands it is safe to connect. Generally, this is three strands for mini string lights and up to 50 bulbs for the screw-in lights.
- It is recommended to plug in no more than three lights sets/strands per extension cord
- Check if each set of lights is intended for indoor or outdoor use. Only use lights intended for outdoor use when decorating the outside of your house. These are specially prepared to be exposed to rain and snow.
- Always wrap connections with electrical tape
Hanging Lights on the Tree
- A general rule is 100 lights for every foot of tree height
- Practice teamwork when hanging lights on the Christmas tree. Have one person arrange the lights on the tree while the other holds the other end of the strand and feeds it to keep it untangled.
- For evergreen trees, start at the top and wind through the center
- For deciduous trees, start at the bottom and work your way up