KATY, Texas – Do you wish you had the skill to dazzle your home with enough lights to stop traffic this holiday season? But maybe you're more Clark Griswold than master lighting technician. Consumer expert Amy Davis with News4Jax sister station KPRC went to one of the brightest homes in Katy to ask homeowner Chris Palmer how he does it year after year.
"I think I just always loved Christmas," Palmer said when asked why he goes through the troubling untangling extension cords and lights. He's even set up a website to share his passion with others.
Palmer's lights are synchronized to music and you can tune in on your car radio. It takes him about two weeks to set up, working a couple of hours each day. We asked him to whittle it all down to a few simple hacks that could help the rest of us just get started.
His most surprising secret weapon is a hot glue gun to hold lights onto the brick of his home. Use a low temperature glue; and Palmer says it won't damage your brick. He peels the lights and glue off easily in January.
"These are 3M stickers," said Palmer, pulling out another tool from his decorating arsenal. "I like to use these on the garland around the door because they stick easy to the brick and they're easy to get off."
The small hooks hold the garland in place so it hangs straight. When it comes to lights, Palmer says you don't have to spend a lot of money.
"You can go to a Home Depot or Lowe's and you can buy a string of 100 for just over $2."
Palmer says the inexpensive lights last years; and when a bulb burns out he doesn't feel guilty tossing the whole strand.
A few lights go a long way if you decorate just the areas that will be seen.
"I like to go in and start in the back and then just zig zag them back and forth and that way you don't have to use as many strings to cover your whole bush," Palmer said.
Palmer is most proud of the lights framing his windows. The job was one and done.
"I just simply bought some wood at Home Depot and made my frames," he explained.
Palmer attached the lights to the frame; and he just hangs the whole piece each year.
"One screw, they're on. One screw, they're down, so I don't a lot of time trying to hang these up," he said.
He says the biggest mistake most people make is stringing too many strands of lights together. He said you shouldn't put more than 5 strands together on one circuit.