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Creative lighting can spruce up your holidays

When it comes to decorating with lights for the holidays, some people favor an elegant, restrained sprinkling of lights around a door, while others go for a more exuberant display of illumination on virtually every surface.

Creative lighting

When it comes to decorating with lights for the holidays, some people favor an elegant, restrained sprinkling of lights around a door, while others go for a more exuberant display of illumination on virtually every surface.

The American Lighting Association offers some holiday lighting tips and ideas:

  • Make your home's entrance a priority. The front door is a first impression for family and friends. Start by adding a few, easy-to-install landscape up-lights to highlight trees and shrubs, or path lighting to illuminate a sidewalk or driveway. Do-it-yourself tip: Go for low-voltage landscape lights, which are easy to install and consume less energy.
  • Add drama with color-changing lights. Newer LED lights can add custom color scenes that compliment a specific holiday decorating mood. You can produce the exact ambiance you like at any moment during your party or gathering. Colors can be changed at the push of a button.
  • Use lighting to create a focal point. Lights can draw attention to virtually anything - a centerpiece, buffet, unusual decoration - which helps guests know where to focus their eyes.
  • Add portable spotlights as highlights. These small, inexpensive fixtures typically work with a tabletop dimmer and can create pretty silhouettes, particularly under a Christmas tree, shining up through the branches.
  • Illuminate corners. When decorating with lights for the holidays, make your space feel larger by placing spotlights in room corners to illuminate dark spaces.
  • Swap out lighting accents. Replacing a neutral lampshade with one that is red or gold will soften the light and create a pretty atmosphere when decorating with lights for the holidays. Replace a chandelier's crystal teardrops with gold, silver or red glass balls, or add a few shade charms, available at many craft stores, to add some sparkle and fun.
  • Check your dimmers. Dimmers are ideal for creating a look, regardless of the season, because they allow for the general lighting to play a supporting role.
  • Update your powder room. A few simple, extra touches, such as a portable lamp with a colored shade, will make a huge impact.
  • Try novelty lights. Consider themed novelty lights for a bit of fun when decorating for any holiday. Try string lights in shapes or LED crystal lights on a festive mantle.
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