Light like a pro

Want to create a light display that really shines? Take some tips from the Bowermans of OlyLightstravaganza (see main story), and from professional holiday lights installer The Urban Gardener in Tacoma.


•  Use commercial grade lights, which last much longer.

•  Use LED lights, which are more environmentally friendly and use far less power.

•  Buy online for more choice: Try or

•  Shop sales or thrift stores for bigger items.


•  Make sure your power is solid, says Scerra, with an outdoor GFI outlet.

•  Be neat. No power cords dumped at the bottom of tree trunks.

•  Scerra uses one clip per light for a really professional look.

•  And of course, check back at night to make sure the display is even and full.

Taking down

•  If lights are wet, dry them out on your floor for a day before storing.

•  To store a string without tangles, hold the dead end (the end that receives another plug) and wrap the string a few times around your hand. Then continue wrapping it into a ball, and finally plug the live end (the end you plug into the outlet) back into the dead end.

•  Wrap loosely, advises Scerra, or you could damage the lights. Use electrical tape to stick it together, and make sure to label it to save time next year.