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Outdoor holiday lighting ideas

Stumped on how to light up your home for the holidays? We asked Brad Finkle, owner of Creative Decorating, a professional holiday lighting company in Omaha, Nebraska, for festive outdoor holiday light ideas.

Whether you're dreaming of a winter wonderland or hoping for something simple and stylish for a change, we've got ideas for every taste and budget.

Make use of your
summer potsOutdoor holiday lighting ideas

The pots that held pretty summer flowers near your front door don't have to sit bare through the winter. Gather pine boughs and other greens and arrange them in the pots. Add pinecones for a little flair.

Candles in the windows

There's nothing as simple and classy as candles flickering in the windows. Add a cheery wreath to the front door, and you're done.

"A few lights can stand out just as much as the Griswolds," Finkle says.

Play it safe by using battery-operated cordless candles. They couldn't be more low maintenance—most come with sensors that keep them lit only from dusk to dawn. Choose a style with LED lights, which use little energy and have realistic-looking flame flickers. The best part: Putting up and taking down this charming décor scheme is a cinch—you'll be the envy of your neighbors after the holiday hoopla is over.

Outline your homeOutdoor holiday lighting ideas

Make a striking display by using string lights to trace the outline of the roof. The style of lights is up to you—clear vs. colored lights, small vs. big bulbs.

Finkle says the retro look is in this winter. "Everybody is slowly going back to multi-color lights and bigger bulbs," known as C-9 bulbs, Finkle says. "I see a lot of this old-fashioned look coming back into play."

Don't forget the sidewalk

If you live in a part of the country that stays relatively warm throughout winter, think about lining your sidewalk with lights to create a twinkly lane to your door. You could also line the sidewalk with large candy cane lawn decorations that stake into the ground for a festive display.

Get creative with patternsOutdoor holiday lighting ideas

Finkle's company once covered the entire stone exterior of a house with strings of golden lights, using a glue gun to arrange the strings in a squiggly pattern. Grab your glue gun and get to it—think about creating a starburst around a door or covering a surface with a stylish chevron pattern.

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