Creating a warm holiday welcome
A HOLIDAY LIGHT DISPLAY adds a festive touch to any size home, bringing joy to the residents and creating a glowing welcome for guests, all season long. When it comes to actually installing the lights, though, it’s a good idea to leave it up to the professionals.
“Our services are all-inclusive,” explains Nolan Shaffer of Iceberg Lighting. “We provide the lights, we install and maintain them, we take them down, and we store them until the next season.”
Here are just a few of the benefits of hiring a professional to install your exterior holiday lights.
One late-fall morning, while putting up holiday lights on a home in Lone Tree, Vance Brand noticed another homeowner in the neighborhood struggling with a pile of tangled lights in his driveway. Always keen on promoting the benefits of professionally installed lights, Brand approached the man with an offer to take over.
“He said, ‘No, I’m good, I do this every year,’” says Brand, who owns The Light Pros and is in his 33rd season of decorating homes. But when Brand happened to be in the same neighborhood about 10 hours later, he noticed the man still in his yard, not even close to being done.
“I asked what he did for a living, and he said he was a lawyer,” Brand laughs. “I told him my crew could have installed those lights for what he charges for just one hour. We can knock it out quicker and save people valuable time.”
Professionals are trained in designing symmetrical light displays that are clean and beautiful, and not overwhelming. They use special clips that won’t damage the home, and they custom-cut the light strands and extension cords so they don’t dangle. They’re also aware of the latest trends: “Permanent lights are popular right now,” Shaffer says. “They cost a bit more, but they last for years, and you can adjust the colors for different holidays like the Fourth of July or Halloween.” Many companies also offer enhancements like lighted wreaths and garlands.
Although some companies in the area install lights the client already owns, most either lease or sell new lights to homeowners. Unlike retro, cone-shaped incandescent bulbs, today’s bulbs are commercial-grade LED types. “They use ninety percent less energy than those old bulbs,” Shaffer says. The lights are also on a timer, which prevents them from being left on (and wasting energy) during the day.
Professional crews from legitimate companies are fully insured. They’re the ones climbing ladders, prancing around on steep roofs and maneuvering lifts to reach the top of tall trees—and clients aren’t responsible for accidents. (Brand recalls an ER doctor once telling him emergency visits due to falls at home increase dramatically the week after Thanksgiving.)
The company also handles any issues that might arise; most guarantee that they’ll respond within 48 hours. That includes replacing bulbs, explains Shaffer, and reattaching strands knocked down by a storm.
It’s easy for Christmas lights to get tangled or broken when you’re schlepping them back and forth to the attic or basement. Lighting professionals bring the lights with them, then store them carefully in climate-controlled warehouses.
The price isn’t as high as most people assume, says Shaffer. Although he’s had installs topping $10,000—and much more for commercial properties—he says most clients are surprised that an average job is around $1,500. You get what you pay for, warns Brand: “There are a lot of new, inexperienced companies in this industry, so do your research.”
Though many lighting companies get started as early as October, some still have openings well into December. “I once did an install on Christmas Eve,” Brand says. “They were having a party, and they really didn’t need them until then anyway.”
Iceberg Christmas Lights, icebergchristmaslights.com
The Light Pros, thelightpros.com