Tuesday, November 22, 2011

TREE DECORATING 101: Come On Baby, Light Your Tree!

Today's pre-lit artificial trees cut the time of decorating considerably, but if you have a real tree, the first step is adding the lights. Choose the strand color that matches your tree so the wire will be hidden--green is most common. Illuminating your Christmas tree from the inside out will give it the most dynamic look. Start at the base of the trunk and work your way up, wrapping lights around every major branch, moving from the trunk to the tip and back.

You can never have too many lights! But if you're buying new, get the smart lights that stay lit even if one bulb goes out. There's nothing more irritating than having your tree loaded and then having a string of lights go out.

Here are four popular types of lights to choose from when decorating your Christmas tree.

Traditional incandescent lights: These Christmas tree lights, which come in a variety of sizes and colors, are the most popular type of tree lights. They warm up the branches of a real tree, which will release the scent of pine into the room.

LED Lights: These Christmas tree lights are newer than the traditional incandescent lights and don't produce heat. They're typically more expensive, but are flameproof and fireproof and completely safe to put on your tree.

Globe lights: These Christmas tree lights are round and come in many sizes. They look like balls of color on the tree, and while they have a softer glow than mini lights, the light they produce covers a larger area on the tree.

Bubble lights: These retro lights stand straight up on the limbs of your Christmas tree. When the liquid tube on top of the light warms up, bubbles will float up and down inside the tube.
Experiment with different lighting schemes until you find one you like -- it's okay to mix and match lights. For example, a background of white or clear lights can be highlighted with strands of colored lights that wrap the outer areas of the tree.

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