Go green this holiday with outdoor decor

Hot holiday decorating tips from ALCC

Holiday décor 2012:   What are some trends and tips for creating holiday ambiance that’s both festive and friendly to the environment?   As soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers are put away, many of us start hauling out the holiday lights—or head to the closest hardware store to buy new lights to dress up the yard for the season.  Before you throw out the old or shop for new lights this year, you might want to hear about some of the latest trends from ALCC.
What is the biggest trend this year for outdoor holiday lighting?
The traditional, classic look is always around and a leading trend in outdoor holiday décor this year.  Everyone loves the nostalgic feel of “Christmas past” and that’s a style that never goes away. 
What does that look like in terms of color and how lights are used? 
The most popular lights are the white ones - the seasonal classic that looks good in the snow.  The second most popular color is green—and also red and amber.  Multi-color displays aren’t as popular as they once were.  White plus one color is the trend. Lights with or without evergreen garlands can also be used along fence lines to create a light garland.  Also, look at what’s in your yard that would be good to decorate—like pillars and other architectural elements.  They will be festive with lights.
And with trees, are there some dos and don’ts for decorating trees with lights?
Different styles depending on whether the tree is an evergreen or deciduous.

Evergreens – Wrap and space rows evenly – if side-by-side, wrap in the same direction with parallel spacing.

Deciduous trees – take advantage of the “skeleton” of the tree without its leaves.  This style plays up the tree’s own structure. Decorate only 1 or 2 trees per yard because it take more work – and more lights - than just circling a strand of lights around a pine tree. 
Before we go out to buy new lights, what should we know about “greener” options for holiday lights?

Holiday lighting is one of those areas where it’s really easy to go green.  This year, replace worn out lights with LEDs.  They are user-friendly and they are environmentally friendly. 
·      You can connect 120 strands of LEDs end to end and plug the whole line into one extension cord that goes into a single power outlet. 
·      LEDs use about 75% less power and they last 4-5 times longer than conventional holiday lights
·      You will pay more up-front, but that cost will be recovered in energy cost savings and fewer replacements. 
·      LEDs do not get hot – that can be a factor for your plants.
·      More info about LEDs if there’s time.

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