Your Outdoor Holiday Lighting Guide – Part 2

November 19, 2021

Outdoor Holiday lighting can add charm and wonder to your space and for many families, hanging lights is a decades-long tradition. We’ve covered part of the basics in Holiday Lighting Part 1, and here are a few more considerations before you climb the ladder and tackle the exciting, yet labor intensive, task of installing your outdoor Christmas lighting.


As mentioned in our previous holiday lighting blog, safety should be the number one priority during your lighting installation. This includes purchasing the right surge protectors and extension cords. Double checking to be sure your lights are rated for outdoor use and damp locations. Always use caution when working with electricity to prevent overloads and electrical trips. Don’t use more lights than your circuit breaker can handle. Generally, a circuit breaker can handle about 15 amps of current. You can put up to 30 lights (50-watt lights) on a 15-amp breaker and up to 40 lights on a 20 amp breaker.

Switch from Incandescent to LED

Incandescent lights use more energy than LED lights and generate a good amount of heat, which could be a fire hazard. LED lights have a long lifespan and can withstand nasty inclement weather. They make a great durable and energy efficient option for your holiday lighting. There are a wide variety of LED colored lights from multi-colored, cool whites, warm whites, and more!

For safety reasons do not connect incandescent and LED mini light strings together. Incandescent lights require more power current than LED lights. It’s best to keep the LED lights and incandescent lights separate, running each out of a different outlet.

Rope Lights

Rope lights are festive and look brilliant when used outdoors. There are so many variations of rope lights. Some features include adjusting the brightness level to create perfect ambiance lighting, mood lighting, or theme lighting. Most rope lights can be controlled remotely for added convenience. Commercial grade rope lights are available and can withstand rain or water splashes, and cold temperatures. End tail cap sets allow you to hook multiple strands together. Rope lights are bendable and flexible, which make them perfect for decorating buildings, windows, walkways, patios, gardens, fences, porches, and more!

Net Lights

Net lights are just like they sound, they’re string lights that have been connected to form a grid (net) which can easily cover bushes or tree trunks. Net lights are super customizable! The grid pattern design can accommodate the decorators who desire clean, uniform lighting. Additionally, net lights can be manipulated to create patterns that appear more random and abstract. Net lights have end-to-end connectors. Generally, you can connect between 14 to 21 LED net lights together on one outlet. Popular color combination themes include red and white for candy cane, red and green for traditional Christmas lights, and blue and white for winter wonderland. Most net lights will include timer functions and light modes, so you can customize your look.

Icicle Lights

Icicle lights are whimsical and add a beautiful aesthetic to your outdoor holiday lighting. Icicle lights feature different cascading lengths of illumination, casting a glowing effect onto any dark space. Twinkling icicle lights add a dramatic sparkle to the scene. These versatile lights look great when hung along your roof, installed across a porch, along railings, and in the garden. Be sure to cluster them together, if icicle lights are stretched too far apart, the look is completely lost. Lastly, avoid hanging icicle lights in windy places. Wind will blow the strands up on the roof or other structure where they’re hung. It’s no fun to spend your free time climbing onto your roof and untangling lights every time the wind picks up.


A timer is a must have for outdoor holiday lighting. A timer ensures that your outdoor lights are switched on every night at dusk, even when you’re not at home, and you don’t have to worry about leaving your Christmas lights on all night. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding safety instructions, care, and maintenance.

Call a Professional

Are you prepared to come up with a design, choose colors and lights, manage the electrical component, follow safety precautions, install, and then take everything down after the holidays? If so, then we wish you the best of luck! If not, then let our professionals at Mobile Illumination take over this season. Click here and contact us today for a free holiday lighting consultation.

Facts About Christmas Lights That Will Make Your Spirit Bright

  • Prior to the 1880s, Christmas trees were lit by candles. A beautiful sight, yet very dangerous!
  • Thomas Edison and Edward Johnson created the first string of electric lights in 1880. They were displayed on the outside of the Menlo Park Laboratory and were visible to train passengers riding by.
  • 15-year-old Albert Sadacca contributed to the popularity of Christmas lights by transforming the white lights his parents sold for Christmas trees, by painting the bulbs multiple colors.
  • By 1900, a string of 16 bulbs sitting in brass sockets sold for a costly $12 ($350 today). In 1903 General Electric offered the first pre-wired, eight-socket strings of lights. GE attempted to patent their Christmas festoon lights, but the patent application was refused because the product was based on knowledge that ordinary electricians possessed. This open market allowed other companies and inventors to produce their own tree light sets, and the American Christmas light industry was born.
  • It is estimated that more than 150 million light sets are sold in the USA each year.
  • Around 5,800 people are hospitalized annually for fall-related injuries while decorating their homes for the holidays.

Part I

Look for Part 1 of our outdoor lighting guide where we’ll discuss more details about planning your outdoor holiday lighting.

Mobile Illumination is Southern California’s premiere Christmas lighting company. Check out our YouTube video and see some of our award-winning holiday lighting installations. We’ve been helping families and businesses transform their properties during the holidays for over 20 years.

Want to see more Christmas lighting designs? Check out our photo gallery!

Have Any More Questions?

We’re here to help! Give us a call and we’ll answer any questions you have about your string lighting.