It’s Christmas time, and every time you drive or walk around your neighborhood you cannot fail to spot several decorated homes with beautiful twinkling lights surrounding them looking so elegant and inviting. Christmas lights signify the start of the festive season, and the sight is usually one to behold. They are a big part of the decoration in the holiday season. You are likely to spot many strands of light everywhere; in houses, offices, malls, restaurants even in hospitals.
Christmas time is a happy time; people are more generous and kind during this period. The lights create a cheerful environment. They bring out a glow that seems to welcome everyone to your space. You can choose to do a small show with the Christmas tree or do a full-blown outdoor display with millions of lights. Whichever the case, the mood, and spirit of Christmas surround you.
Types of Christmas Lights
Many homeowners spend a considerable amount of money to ensure that their homes reflect the Christmas spirit. The decoration involves installing and designing the lights so that they come out looking magnificent and attractive even in the humblest homes. In the past, the lights were limited in number, and there was only one option. However, there have been changes, and homeowners now have several choices.
There are two are types of bulbs used in Christmas lights. They include:
- Incandescent lights
- LED Christmas lights
For a homeowner, choosing the right Christmas lights can be a little bit daunting. Therefore, whether you are doing a routine maintenance to replace a bad wiring, bad fuses or broken bulbs, or you are out to upgrade your entire Christmas lighting display, you need to be informed about the different forms of lights.
Incandescent lights have a warm, intense glow and are brighter because of there are usually many bulbs in one strand. They are cheaper than their counterpart LED Christmas lights. However, the major drawback with incandescent lights is they typically create heat to make light, and this makes the bulb to get hot. For this reason, the incandescent lights may not be safe to use near young children.
Since the incandescent bulb has to heat up the filament to be able to produce light, they consume a lot of energy which might not ring so well with your utility bill.
LED Christmas Lights (light emitting diode)
The LED lights use less energy as compared to incandescent lights, almost 10% of the electrical energy that their counterpart incandescent light use. They produce little heat meaning there are no risks of fire as they do not heat up.
LED lights are costly, but the cost evens out eventually since they are durable.The lights are also made of lightweight plastic which is hard to break as compared to glass in incandescent bulbs.
If you study the pros and cons of the two types of lights, the LED seems to take the lead and can be said to be a bit more superior. However, the incandescent has some wins like the price, although, with time, LED will make more sense price-wise since they are durable, and energy saving. As a homeowner, it’s still your call to make the right choice and select the lights that you feel will suit your style better.
Christmas LightS Installation Cost Factors
So it’s tthanksgiving just ended and all the homes around are beginning to look bright in readiness for the holiday season. Most homeowners love seeing the exterior of their home dressed up with shining lights and decorations to reflect the Christmas spirit. But the most obvious question to a homeowner will probably be how much it will cost them to have the beautiful display of lights installed in their homes. The answer to this particular question may not be a straightforward one.
There are multiple of factors that will influence the installation cost of Christmas lights. Remember, homes are different, and each person has a different preference when it comes to decoration.
Here are the common factors that influence installation cost of Christmas lights.
The Size of a Home
The larger your house, the more space to cover especially if the roof is high. Most professionals will charge based on linear feet of the lights to be installed. If you own the lights, an installer will charge around $1.00 to $3.00 per linear foot of the lights. For an average home, expect to pay $450 for installation and for the larger houses the cost can go as high as $1,200.
Therefore if you own a two-story house, and you have the lights, a professional lights installer will charge you an average of $172.00 to $433.00. If they bill hourly, expect to pay $49.00 to $73.00 per hour with your lights. For installers who charge per linear foot, you will pay $2.17 to $3.70 per linear foot.
If you have a one-story house, and the installer is using their lights for installation, the cost may come around $200-$400 on a 1500 square foot for the exterior display.
If a homeowner wishes to have a full coverage including the roofline, bushes in the yard, the live trees around, the garlands and the lighted wreaths, it will cost you about $1000 to $6000 inclusive of the lights. The price will be determined by the size of a house and the height of the roof. However, with time the price goes down since you do not have to purchase the lights, so you will just pay for the installation, removal, and storage.
Types of Lights
There are several options when it comes to lights, and they come with varying prices which can affect the total cost of installation. The variety of lights includes LED lights, icicle, colored lights, standard lights, and many more others. The size of the house will greatly determine how much lighting will be needed.
Therefore, your preference will determine how much you spend on the installation cost. LED lights are initially expensive to purchase, but they consume less energy and are more durable. A professional Christmas lights installer will charge you an extra $1.00 per linear foot for the LED light. If you choose to have fancier lights with different colors the installation cost can increase by a margin of 20%.
The exterior Christmas lights will averagely range from $10.00 to $30 per strand. This depends on the size and style of the lights you choose. A homeowner should plan for eight to ten strands of lights which come to around $80.00 to $300.00 for the whole house.
If you have trees around your home, you may incorporate them with the lights to complete the entire display. Integrating the trees with the other landscaping lights will cost you more, but the results will be splendid. For small trees, it will cost you an average of $60.00, while a larger tree with bigger and more open branches, it will cost you an average of $1,200. For example, a palm tree will cost you an average of $150.00 to $600 per tree.
Wreaths and Garlands
If you prefer to have lighted outdoor wreaths, a professional will charge you an extra $50.00- $150 per wreath. For garlands, an expert will charge you based on distance, which will be an average of $25.00.
Removal of the Lights
If the installation package did not include the removal fee, expect to pay an average of $100-$200 for the service.
Additional Factors to Consider
If your home has a diverse landscaping and large trees, the cost of installation will be higher. Therefore, to get a fair price, get multiple quotes to see if you will be lucky to get an affordable option.
Make sure you are aware of the lighting regulations in your area. Some neighborhood limit the lighting coverage for Christmas lights; so, it’s advisable to find out.
Most installers are usually booked early. It might be costly if you wait till the festive season has started to reserve one. To be on the safe side, book as early as September for Christmas lights installation service.
Christmas Lights Installation: Table of Cost Summary
|Hourly charge||$1-$3 per linear feet
|Average cost of lights installation ||$450
|A one story-house||$200-$400 -1500 square feet exterior
|Full coverage; house, trees, bushes, roofline, wreaths, and garlands.||$1000 $1200
|LED lights- 8 to 10 strands||$80-$300
|Small trees||$60 per tree
|Removal of the lights||$100-$200
Checklist for Installation Cost
When you approach a Christmas lights installer for cost evaluation and estimates, you need to make sure you understand what they are charging you for before you decide to sign up for an installation package.
Here are some of the critical things to look out for:
- Find out from the installer how may lights will they install per linear foot. The number of lights will enable you to calculate the cost to see if it makes sense.
- If you already have lights, will they replace for you the burned out bulbs? And at if they do, at what cost?
- Find out if the cost estimate they are giving you includes installing the lights everywhere, i.e., on the roof, bushes, trees, etc.
- Find out if they will set the timers for you including the ones for garlands and wreaths and how much will it cost you?
- If the package includes the lights, what type of lights are they supplying? Are they LED or incandescent lights? Find out if you can choose what you want.
- Find out where they will install the lights. Is it on the trees, house, or on the bushes. Make sure you know this upfront.
- Also, make sure you ask them if they are providing the chords and timers.
- For the Christmas tree find out if they are providing it or you have to buy it.
- Also, find out if the lights they provide become yours to keep. It’s very important to know this so that you do not get surprised when they take away the light after the festive season is over.
- Lastly, ask if the installation fee includes the cost of removing and storing the lights after the holidays are over.
DIY Versus Professional Christmas Light Installers
Sometimes a homeowner can choose to install the Christmas lights in their home. It can be fulfilling to watch the lights pop up after the handwork. However, installing Christmas lights especially in a large house may not be a walk in the park.
Remember the weather around Christmas time may not be favorable for an outdoor activity that may take long hours to complete. It rains and snows a lot during the Christmas holidays. At some point, you need to use ladders to reach to the roof and other higher parts of the house which might be risky. The lights can get tangled making the whole exercise frustrating and tiring.
Here are reasons why hiring a professional Christmas lights installer is a better choice.
Hanging lights involves climbing ladders which may be a bit risky for someone who is not professionally trained to work on one. Being on the roof when it’s snowing or raining may not be a good idea. There is also the danger of fire if the wires are not correctly connected. You may not know how many extension cords you need to string together or how to untangle the wires safely. Hiring a professional will save you from these risky situations, and you can rest indoors and let someone do the magic.
You can achieve a fantastic lighting display custom designed just for your house to complement your exterior and landscape. A professional will study your home and its environment and give you the best ideas on how to get the maximum beauty out of the display. A lot goes on into the planning, like consideration of the existing electrical infrastructure, architecture and more.
Quality of the Work
A Professional installer is trained to handle Christmas light installation and decoration. They work with techniques, methods, and systems that ensure your lights installation is done faster and efficiently.
They will also install your lights with right clips and fasteners that will not leave your property damaged. The finished work will be a neat display with all the cords perfectly hidden to reveal a magnificent view.
Assured Quality Lights
A professional will use high-quality lights for your holiday lighting designs. You do not need to worry about poor performance or bulbs burning out. Even more so, if you get high-grade products, you will not be faced with the decision of new buying one lights in the following year since they will still be in good condition. Hire a professional who is reliable enough to deliver high-quality services and products.
The holiday season comes with a buzz of activity. You probably have to organize a family gathering, or, rush to do the last minute shopping. It’s also equally a time when the weather is not so friendly, and the storm may blow away some of your lighting décors, or the bulbs may go off when you least expect them to.
A professional installer will have a team ready to tackle any arising problems as you run your errands comfortably. You do not have to hassle with ladders in the cold weather trying to figure out the reason why your lights appear dim or are not lighting.
So the holidays are over, and you are trying so hard to catch up and fit into the normal routine. You probably have several meetings lined up in the first week after the holidays. Therefore, the last thing you want to do is the tedious process of bringing down the beautifully installed Christmas lights.
A professional lights installer will do all the removal work, and if you don’t have space for storage, they will store them for you until the next season.
Christmas season is time to enjoy and be with your family and friends. You do not want to be down for days trying to figure out the mechanism of the lighting system of your Christmas lights. A professional will handle all your Christmas lights in a record time as you carry on with festive season activities.
Hiring the Right Professional for Installing Christmas Lights
You have decided to hire a professional lights installer to avoid the hassle of climbing up the ladders and spending hours detangling your Christmas lights. In fact, it’s a good idea to let a professional handle the holiday lights installation for you. Your safety is paramount, and an expert will come armed with the right protective gear and equipment.
Remember, Christmas time can get all buzzed up with activities. You need to start making inquiries for Christmas lights installation services near you as early as possible to avoid missing out on the right installers. Before you hire, it’s paramount that you find someone who will also pay attention to your ideas as they also suggest the best approaches to use.
Take time to find someone reliable, easy to work with, and most importantly they should be readily available to fix any breakdowns after installation. Also, in your search, get someone who will respect your property and is time conscious.
Here are tips to help you manage to get the right Christmas lights installer for your holiday season.
So last year your neighbor had this fantastic display of their Christmas lights that had everyone admiring them from a distance. Guess what? That’s the one place where you can get the right professional for your home lights installation. Ask your neighbors, friends and even family members about the company that does their Christmas lights setup.
Asking around can be one of the easiest ways to get someone to help you with your lights installation project. You will are more likely to get someone locally which is more convenient for you.
However, ensure that you get all the information about the installer before you contact them. Ask about the quality of their services; did they use good quality of lights? Were they time conscious? Did the homeowner love the end product? Would they use the same installer this year for their Christmas lights? There are many questions that you need to ask before you contact that particular installer just to be sure they are really worth your hard-earned money.
Try typing ‘Christmas lights installation services near me’ on the search engines. You will get multiple results of installers near you. The internet has made it easy for most people searching for service providers. You can search for an installer using your phone and chat them right away from your mobile device in real time. Most service providers have websites that have contact details, while others have live chat software that makes it easy for a homeowner to find answers instantly.
However, while shopping for Christmas lights installation services on the web, make sure you gather enough information on various service providers you come across. The search does not end at the point where you get results on your search pages.
You need to look at the reviews. What are people saying about the installer? Are the reviews good or are people complaining about poor service? How about the rating? Are they getting a good score? By studying the reviews, you will be able to tell how the company operates and in particular, how they treat their customers. It actually goes without saying that you should avoid a company that seems to have a trail of bad reviews.
Make Phone Calls
Once you have been able to narrow down your search to at least three or four installers; you can proceed and give each a call and do a brief interview that will help you narrow down your list.
On the phone, listen to how the installer addresses you to see if they pay attention. Are they courteous? Do they seem interested? Are they asking you relevant questions concerning the kind of lights display you want? Did they ask about your location? These small details will help you gauge if the person on the other end is ready to work with you. While on the phone do not forget to ask about cost estimates. Find out if the professional offers free costs estimates and request them to email the quote to you.
Meet in Person
You need to meet your installer, so schedule a meeting to discuss the setting further. Every home is unique, and people’s sense of style is unique. Therefore, when you meet with the installer, let them give clear guidance on the best display that will beautifully bring out your lights to make your home look magnificent in this festive season.
A good installer should be able to study your landscape and the architecture of your home and come up with ideas best suited for your home. Your input is also essential, after all, it’s your home, and you probably have a vision of how the lights should look like after installation.
Make sure you give your ideas to your installer and find out if they are practical. The installer should be open and ready to incorporate your vision into their plan on Christmas lights display. In the meeting, discuss the cost factor in details. Question everything that has been itemized and see if you can ask for discounts to cut down on the cost of installation.
Avoid Going for Cheap Services
While searching for Christmas lights installation, avoid being lured into cheap deals. A cheap service may turn out to be costly in the end. If an installer is too cheap compared to others, there is a chance you are getting low-quality lights that will keep blowing up during the entire season. You might also get someone who is less experienced in light design and end up getting a display you would rather not light.
Therefore, get several quotes just to make sure the installer is within the range. You need to be able to know when someone is way past the estimated cost or, way too low. Both scenarios should be treated with skepticism.
10 Questions To Ask Your Christmas Lights Installer
Christmas decorations and lights is a project that a homeowner would not want to see all messed up. The display is out there for everyone to see. You do not wish to have a lights design that appears clumsy and poorly hung. The way your presentation looks will say a lot about you. A perfect lighting display shows that you are organized, keen to details and that you are ready to enjoy the festive season to the maximum.
Therefore, when hiring, you need to make sure the lights installer is on the same page with you, and they will pay attention to your display to make it look magnificent.
Here are ten questions that will enable you to pick the best Christmas lights installer for your home.
1. Ask For References
Before you hire an installer, you need to hear a word from the recent clients. A good installer has a list of clients they have worked for in the past. Ask if they can give you their contacts. Follow up with calls to the references and gather some necessary information about the lights professional from them.
Ask the references the type of lighting that was installed for them. Was the installer reliable? Did they finish the project on time? Was the installer professional? How about their communication? Were they available after installation? Did they have the right equipment for installation process? Would they recommend the installer to someone else for the same service? References are a great source of information, and by talking to them, you will be able to know if the installer is qualified enough to give you an excellent service.
2. Is Your Company Licensed?
You are safer working with a licensed company that has met all the required standards in your locality. Besides, someone who has gone an extra mile to ensure that they are licensed shows that they take their business with seriousness and they will treat your project with the same attitude.
3. Are you Insured?
Hanging and installing lights is a risky undertaking that involves climbing ladders to get to the roof. The installers will also climb trees to install the lights. During this time of the year, the weather is usually not so favorable, and there is a likelihood of slipping. You need to protect yourself from any liabilities in case accidents happen. Therefore, find out from the installer if they are adequately insured and if their workers are also covered under the workman’s compensation.
4. How Many Years Have You Been Installing Christmas Lights
Experience can define your mastery in the task at hand. An experienced person with several years of installing lights should be the best choice for you. They have probably seen it all. They know what works best and the ideas to avoid. They are also aware of the latest trends in the market. These are people who have gone through enough trial and error and frustrations that sharpened their skills.
It’s important to note that Christmas lights need skills in hanging. You need someone who will come up with a splendid design for your display. Therefore, getting a novice to do a trial on your Christmas lights might not be a good idea. Inquire about their experience and find out how many homes they have decorated and installed lights in the past.
5. Ask About the Christmas Lights Installation Cost
Do not agree to open quotes where the total cost of installation is billed after the installer has finished with your project. Ask upfront about the costs of lights and other materials. Also, inquire if the cost includes the lights, the cords, strings and any other item necessary for the installation process.
6. Ask If the Lights Become Yours after Installation
You need to find out from your installer if the lights they are providing are for you to keep. Most installers rent or lease the lights during the festive season. Therefore you need to find out if the installation package you are getting guarantees ownership of the lights, or if it’s a lease agreement.
7. Do You Provide Storage For The Lights?
Find out from the installer if the package they are offering includes storage services. Some installers charge the storage fee separately from the installation charges. Therefore, you will need to clear with the installer about the storage issue.
8. Do You Offer Maintenance Services?
Ask the installer if they will be available for maintenance services after installation. A bulb can burn, or the lights may just stop working. You need to know if the installer will provide services even after installation. A reliable company will even make regular visits throughout the holiday just to make sure everything is working as it should.
9. Where Do You Purchase Your Christmas Lights?
The quality of lights you pay for matters. If you are going to pay for a service you need to get the best quality. You need lights that will serve you right to your specifications, and that includes long-lasting bulb that will not keep blowing off every time.
10. Can I Bring My Lights?
You may choose to purchase your lights to either cut down on the cost of installation or to be able to select the specific lights you want. You may also probably have lights that you had purchased on the previous holiday. Whichever the case, your installer can accept to use them and charge labor fee only.
Avoid Getting Scammed
Just like any other service industry, unscrupulous people are claiming to offer lights installation services, and yet they are looking for an opportunity to steal from homeowners. These are installers with a mediocre reputation and have a track record of being unreliable. You need to protect yourself completely from such people who could easily spoil your Christmas mood.
Avoid Paying Upfront
Do not pay for services that have not been done. Try as much as possible to pay after your lights have been installed. Secondly, it’s advisable to pay with a credit card. This way you are more protected, and you can easily claim your money back if the installer does a shoddy job. Still, on the issue of payment, try to pay the removal fee separately after the installer shows up for removal.
Do You Offer Warranty on Your Lights?
What happens if something goes wrong with lights? For example, the whole stand of the lighting system burns off. Will the installer compensate for the damage? Clear this with your installer before hiring. You need to have a written warranty for the lights from your installer before you hire them.
Get It in Writing
Let everything you discuss with your installer be in writing. You will be safer working with a written agreement than a verbal one. Make sure that all the details discussed are correctly captured before you sign.
Christmas holiday is time to celebrate, enjoy and have fun. Lights are shinning up everywhere, and the festive mood has set in already. A homeowner, you need the best display of lights that will scream celebrations at the same time warm enough to invite your visitors inside.
Most people nowadays are opting to hire Christmas light installers to do the lighting for them. Considering the hassle that comes with putting the lights yourself, the decision to hire someone to do it for you is the right one. Always do adequate research to ensure you get a reliable professional who will do a splendid job and make your Christmas holiday a memorable one.