...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Okay, let’s try a light-hearted Honest Monday, shall we? Christmas lights. I like warm white strands. HH prefers LED’s. My kids want as many different colors as possible. And blinking. Lots of blinking. Oh, the abrupt blinking. It’s like Christmas lights in GIF format. Sorry. Inside blogger joke. Anyhow, after a four-year boycott of exterior Christmas lights {the reason for which we don’t speak of around these parts}, HH decided it was time to give them another chance. The kids want lights on their house and who are we to deny them?

In an effort to try and please everyone, HH found LED color changing lights at Home Depot UPDATE: Meijer. This should show how often HH and I ‘talk with our faces’ as HH refers to it. I can’t keep up with him and he can’t keep up with me. Ahhhh! {I can’t find a link to them online but for anyone who might be interested they are the ‘color change series’ brand and come in strands of 35 lights.} These lights have four settings – off, warm white, multicolored, continuous switch from white to colored – that can be changed with the included remote control. You heard me right. I said remote control. LED’s + remote control = an engineer moonlighting as an elf.

HH hung seven strands PERFECTLY STRAIGHT around the front and sides of the house just at the gutter line. I said something about how nice it would look with lights along the rooflines as well but HH said climbing up on a wet metal roof to hang Christmas lights would be the end of him. Good point.

The white is a warm white. Not blue like many LED’s. We set them to white when we’re going for a classic, sophisticated look. Teehee.

Most of the time they’re on the multicolored setting. The kids like it best. We haven’t mentioned the blinking thing and I don’t think we will. I wish my pictures showed the true color of this setting. In person, they are much livelier and deeper in color.

I have to admit. The colored lights are growing on me. Life’s too short for white Christmas lights.

In regards to Christmas light hanging, I married my father. My dad takes pride in hanging a perfectly straight Christmas light strand. Until HH, I never met anyone else who put so much effort into lining Christmas lights up like soldiers. Layne spent the night with my dad a few weeks ago after HH had hung our lights. My dad happened to hang his lights the day Layne was visiting. He was outside for less than an hour when Layne went out to check his progress.

Layne: Wow! Grandpa, did you do all that just now?

Grandpa: Yeah.

Layne: Wow. My dad didn’t even put up that many lights and it took him THREE days!

There’s an ongoing family joke about this now. So maybe my dad is more efficient but HH’s strands are just as straight.

What about you? Do you prefer white or colored lights? Are you all business on the outside with a multicolored party going on inside? Have you ever tried color changing lights?

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

31 Comments

10.December.2012

why would you boycott them for 4 years? Is there something I should know?

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10.December.2012

i’m a white lights girl. i’m ok if they blink as long as they’re white. then it looks like twinkling and not an in-your-face animated gif!

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10.December.2012

I am a pretty white lights kind of girl, at least on the tree. My husband is pro-colored lights, so for outside, we have bright multicolored LEDs. I have to admit, I am LOVING all the color outside – a lot of the houses with white lights look boring to me now. But I will NEVER give in on the warm white lights on tree – it’s so much classier with the other decorations and good for cozy nights snuggled up on the couch. :)

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10.December.2012

Those lights look great! I have never heard of lights that can change! What a great option for people that like different things, like your family. We use to put lights up, but then moved to a house with a very difficult roof line…because we can’t do the whole house we kind of just stopped. We really need to just hang a few on the bottom though for the kids. They really miss it…

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10.December.2012

Those lights are perfect! White when you’re feeling white and colors when you’re feeling colorful. Blinking, too? Remote control? These are an amazing find!

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10.December.2012

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree… I must have warm white lights on my tree! We have white lights outside this year but I’m guessing as our girl gets older she’ll probably be able to “twist” her daddy’s arm for some more festive colored lights! I’m just hoping we don’t end up looking like the Griswolds one of these days! Although that is my all time favorite Christmas movie ever!

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10.December.2012

Have to say that I’m a no-lights gal (warm white lights under duress, and absolutely no blinking; oh, the eye strain and headaches from flashing and blinking lights!). I love the classic look of electric candles in windows, even in contemporary homes. And I’m always drawn to wreaths of fir boughs or other natural materials. Though I fight packrat tendencies, I’m a minimalist for holiday decor, no matter the holiday. Any others like me Out There? (But I think your lights are elegant. Who knew one strand could do all that?)

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10.December.2012

I was an all white lights girl until I had a toddler and now our tree is blinking, colored, big and small bulb seizure producing madness. But she loves it and it’s growing on me each day. We also put white lights on which balances the crazy. Outside – we are a white light candle kind of house.

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10.December.2012

My dad put red LED lights on his gutters last year (all nice and straight too!). He never takes his lights down and this year he turned them on and the middle strand is super dim. no idea why but now he has to go up and replace them. I bet his would love colour changing lights!!

we have branches and boughs along the front that have multicoloured lights. But the house lights have always been red!

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I agree with everything you stated. At our house, we don’t have any exterior holiday lights. Why? Well, I think it is a waste of electricity and a huge waste of my husband’s time. The kids want as many blow-up figures as they can, but I simply will not give in. I believe in simplicity as it is frugal, more environmentally responsible, and a lot easier on our family in terms of ‘things to do’ when this season is already filled to the gills with scheduling and projects. I wish everyone a simpler and happier holiday season.

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10.December.2012

White lights and NO blinking for me! I’m a party pooper. Hubs would prefer colors and lots of blinking, but I’ve outlawed it until the kids are old enough to have a vote. : )

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10.December.2012

I’ve never heard of color changing lights before, but that is awesome! I’m more of a white lights kind of gal, but I can definitely see that having kids might change my mind. What a great compromise you found!

We’re keeping our outdoor decor simple this year. A little potted tree by the front door, wreath on the door, and some garland around the entry to the porch. It’s festive without being a pain in the rear!

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10.December.2012

We have white lights outside, and switched to colored LED lights on the inside this year. My three-year-old really wanted colored lights and since Christmas is really so magical for kids, I gave in. No blinking, though. And I have never seen those color changing lights before. We don’t have Home Depot here, I wonder if they have them at Lowes?

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10.December.2012

I insist on white lights on the tree. I have an issue with needing things to be symmetrical and the colored lights aren’t spread around the tree evenly enough to keep me from twitching! I love colored lights outside, but I don’t like the flashing ones. I really don’t care for the yards that look like Disney threw up on them with too many colors and too much movement.
The LED lights that can change colors is a great idea! We don’t hang lights on the house because I want them to be straight but I don’t want to be the one to hang them. My husband is afraid of heights, so he refuses to do the job (especially because he knows that he won’t do them PERFECT for me!)

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10.December.2012

I didn’t know they made LED color changing lights. They look great! Most of the time I prefer white, but every now and then I want some fun color.

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10.December.2012

Colored lights FTW! I love multi colored lights on my house. I used to use them on the tree too but then bought a pre-lit tree that had white lights. The white lights are growing on me. Though I do miss my multi-colored lights inside sometimes.

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10.December.2012

I just switched to red/white lights for the exterior. I used to love white exterior lights but felt like everyone on the block was doing the same thing, so the red/white is such a nice difference between full on color or plain white lights.

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10.December.2012

I love how it looks as if your house has halo-like white Christmas trees along the front. The choice to down-light was a smart one. …beautiful effect. And, thanks for sharing your multi-colored dilemma and resolution; MY multi-colored light-loving kids may have a fighting chance next year! ;-)

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Growing up, my family was wild for multicolored lights. My mom put as many strands of lights on the tree as she could, and then decorated outside too. In fact, I didn’t even know that you could do an all-white tree or outdoor decorations until I moved to the South in high school. Then I was floored by all the white lights. I’d never seen anything like it. Now I do all white too, but I think it’s more in response to my insane multicolored childhood. :)

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10.December.2012

So we just bought our first house in August and I am conemplating Christmas lights…. but I just can’t figure it out. Where do you plug them in? Do you need an external socket? Run it in through the window?

Such a newb…

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10.December.2012

I love that you take your family into consideration and never do things just in the name of design. They look great and everyone is happy, yippee!

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10.December.2012

Warm, white lights, not twinkling. :) There’s something very warm and evokes memories of childhood with multi-colored lights though. I think I’m just more into a “peaceful” look now. Your home looks gorgeous!

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10.December.2012

I love warm white lights, but also love color. So what did I do? I put a string of those LED lights on my pre-lit white light Christmas tree. It’s the best of both worlds! My only complaint is that the only stationary setting on my set is the white, and it’s not the warm white. But I have no problem with dancing colorful lights on our tree! (Our LED string as 14 settings, and our kids LOVE playing with the remote!)

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10.December.2012

We hang white icicles outside, white lights inside on the tree. My ornaments have always been white, silver and gold until this year. My 6 yr old requested red, white and green. How could I say no? I couldn’t! Our red and green decorated tree is like your colored lights. My son LOVES our tree this year! Yep, life is too short to override a child’s choice of Christmas decor. :)

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10.December.2012

Your lights look awesome! I love warm white lights lined up perfectly straight on the house. Good job to HH!

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11.December.2012

I have 3 girls under 5 years old so I still get my way most of the time. They love all the colored lights they see outside so my unspoken rule has been colored lights on the outside and white inside on the tree and wreath. That may change someday as they get older and have more of an opinion but for now it works. I grew up with a dad who went a little crazy with Christmas lights (not quite up to par with Clark Grizwald or anything) but it is a fond memory for me so I kind of like a little flash outside.

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11.December.2012

I love how white lights vs. colored lights is such a Christmas debate. When we were young we had colored lights. After a certain age my parents switched us over. We now have white lights on our tree. Our neighbors are celebrating their first Christmas together and they are going back and forth, she wants colored he wants white. They came over to see what we had on our tree. We noticed last night they have the tree up and colored lights won. I just think it is so funny. Oh and so impressed with the straight lights outside. I think that is why that is not attempted at our house.

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11.December.2012

My hubby is an engineer too. Your comment about “LEDs + remote control = an engineer moonlighting as an elf” cracked me up! I can totally relate. Oh man… too funny!

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11.December.2012

I have boycotted outdoor lights for years as well. Long story involving a ladder, pushpins, unsuitable language… I had big plans to rejoin the ‘twinklers’ this year with warm white lights on the roof line and perhaps a simple ball or two of solar twinkle lights on the front lawn. An adult/mature version of Christmas lights. My neighbours however must of caught wind of this and have set up a light show that can be seen from space! Flashing santas climbing trees, nodding reindeers, flashing, strobing technicolour displays that burn the eyeballs! I’m not sure I even need to turn my indoor lights on.

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11.December.2012

love that they are led’s but still warm! we have never gotten to the outside and we’ve lived here for like 3 years. i dont mean to be a scrooge, I just never get around to it.

Also, are your hubby/dad/any other relative up for hire??

at least you’re only battling multi-colored vs. white lights. you could have a hubby that insists on inflatables :) and that could hurt a marriage ;)

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12.December.2012

Slight correction … the lights I found came from Meijer. They were on sale. By the way, if you find and buy these lights I feel there’s something you should know. Each set comes with a remote. The idea is that when strung together, one remote would change all the settings. In practice, this happens a bit differently. The signal from the remote is not received by each string at the same time. What does this mean? It means to get the modes (color or white) snyc’d, it may require you to spend 10 minutes in the yard waving the remote in certain patterns like you’re conducting an orchestra (or looking like an idiot). It’s a technique I’m getting better at, but thought it was worth sharing.

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