“For the majority of the year, coming home is a pretty standard experience,” says Thumbtack Pro Ryan Healy, of Absolute Lights. “But when you come home at Christmastime and it’s covered in lights, there’s joy and excitement when your house comes into view.”
It’s that time of year again! Whatever your holiday of choice, there’s something magical about streets and homes and businesses lit up like, well, a Christmas tree.
Last year we added Holiday Lights Installation as a request category. We now have 277 Service Pros and over 500 requests; about 90% of those were made in November and December. (No surprises there.)
28% of People Want Trees Lit
A whopping 97% of requests asked for lights installed outdoors, with most of those wanting outdoor trees lit to perfection.
We were surprised by how many people selected “other” and the diversity of responses was inspiring! Here are a few common elements folks wanted spruced up for the holidays:
- Office party decoration
- Picket fences and porches
- Chandeliers and fans
- Outdoor reindeer
- Restaurant interior decorations
Getting into the Holiday Lights Industry
Many electricians with home and garden businesses will supplement their services with holiday light installation this time of year. And work gets busy. Healy has had installations every day since November 1st.
“After years of working for other people and burning myself out, I had an epiphany”, says Healy. “I moved across the country and decorated our house at Christmastime. The next day everyone in the neighborhood was asking me to do their lights. I brought the business to Boulder and four years later it’s a successful business I couldn’t be happier with.”
Ryan’s work ranges from large spruce trees to roof lines to bush-wrapping. He’s made trees that look like gumdrops, created frozen rivers out of colored lights and “candy-caned” many-a-roof.
Tips for Holiday Light Installation
It turns out, most people have no idea that a standard 9-foot-tall tree in your yard takes almost 500 – 800 feet of lights to truly light it properly. It’s the trees that can cost more than the house itself! So Ryan gave us a few tips, whether we’re hiring a pro or tackling it ourselves.
More is always better. If you think a bush should take three lines of lights, make it six. A good rule of thumb for lighting a tree: average around 80 linear feet per foot for that tree. So if you have a 10 ft tall tree you should be around 800ft of lights if you really want it to look amazing and full. The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York? That baby takes around 150,000 lights.
Do your due diligence. When hiring a service professional to install lights for you, ask:
- How long have you been been in business?
- Are you insured?
- How many people are on your crew?
Ask about a guarantee. With unpredictable Colorado weather, Ryan’s company fixes and replaces any damaged lights and guarantee the lights for the lifetime of their business relationship. It’s these little details can make your experience that much better.
“The best part of my job is flipping the switch. We usually finish around sunset and there’s this level of anticipation. It’s the kind of job that you never really know what it’s going to look until you turn everything on. But each time, when it goes from an ordinary house to completely lit, there’s an intake of breath and your client can only say, ‘whoa’. Yeah. That’s my favorite moment.”
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