There was a time when outdoor Christmas lights only appeared on high streets and town squares. But now, more and more of us are jazzing up our homes with strings of dazzling bulbs, illuminated Santas, fake reindeers – and even a sleigh on the roof, in some cases. Here’s some help with how to hang fairy lights outside your home this year.

Whether you think the trend is more garish than great is a matter of opinion, but if you are going to bling-up your house with outdoor Christmas lights, you might want to follow some basic ‘rules’.

How to hang fairy lights

1. Don’t leave your lights on the fast setting overnight

Yes, the rave setting might be fun for five minutes, but no one wants to be kept awake at night because a neighbour’s roof won’t stop flashing.

Consider investing in a timer to turn your lights off overnight without you having to remember. Get this pack of 2 timer plugs, available on Amazon, delivered straight to your door.

2. On a similar note, don’t blind your neighbours, either

While bright lights might fit in nicely with the theme, too much dazzle might be a recipe for disaster. No one wants to fall out with next door over Christmas.

3. Don’t go too over the top

It might seem like a competition to see who can create the biggest and brightest Christmas showstopper on your street, but sometimes less is more.

Consider investing in a few larger pieces, and a few strings of fairy lights. Style them differently each year to keep things interesting.

4. Do match the extension cords to the environment

These small details can make a massive difference in how the decorations will look. Using a white extension cable on a tree will draw attention to the cable, not the main event.

Bushy trees will create a more effective look. Find places to hide extension cords – and make sure they’re waterproof. This weatherproof extension cord, available on Amazon, comes with a cover to keep your plugs protected.

5. Do use energy-efficient bulbs

LED lights last longer and are more eco-friendly.

6. Don’t leave your lights on all day

Not only will it drain energy and possibly result in a whopping electricity bill, what’s the point having them on when there aren’t many people around, or when it’s daylight and no one can really see them anyway?

Again, a timer can help you here – check when it starts getting dark and set your lights to automatically come on at that time.

7. Do get some inspiration

How to hang fairy lights - add festive sparkle
(Thinkstock/PA)

Unsure how to outdo Number 27 down the road this year? Go online and see what others have done to gather up some new ideas.

8. Do think about adding music

OK, so we told you not to go too overboard, but it is Christmas after all – why not sync your lights to music? Just make sure your music isn’t loud enough to annoy your neighbours.

9. Do use other decorations too

The lights might be the main attraction, but a few frolicking reindeer on the lawn, maybe a Santa climbing up the drainpipe… now you’re talking!

10. Do take your lights down once Christmas is over

Leaving your lights out until February (or all year round) is not a good look.

On a final note, all jokes aside, pay close attention to safety and always ensure you’re using appropriate lighting products and following guidelines.

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