Tips: 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.

Related stories from Tacoma News Tribune