I love Christmas and I love getting outside and putting up the Christmas lights – provided it’s not below zero! I don’t go Griswold crazy, but the lights go up every year!
Last year, I discovered a very cool picture of a park where large lighted balls were placed in an open snow-covered area. The look was magnificent. Each ball was large – I would guess 3-4 feet around and wrapped in a single color of christmas lights. The balls were haphazardly placed around a lighted christmas tree and the look was stunning and something I knew I had to try!
There was one problem with this project, to effectively cover balls that large would require many more lights than I was willing to purchase. Solution – use smaller balls! My yard isn’t that big anyway, but having 4 foot balls scattered though out my yard would be very cool! Maybe next year!
First things first – where to get the balls to wrap? Last year when I tried this, I used grape vine balls! Grape vine balls are wonderfully decorative during the day because they are natural looking and look awesome laying about a dormant flower bed. The problem with grape vine balls is that they can easily be crushed under a foot or more of snow – it happens!
This year I have been purchasing metal garden spheres. These are much sturdier and I have used them in lots of decorating projects – I love multi-functional objects!
On each sphere, I simply wrapped a single color of christmas lights and you can see the lovely look it provides. This effect is especially nice when it contrasts with white lights in the rest of your Christmas lighting.
How many lights did I use? The small ball has 210 lights and the large balls have 300 lights!
One more tip – wind will move the balls so anchor them! I use a tent anchor, but anchors for landscape edging would work well too!
Once upon a time, when I lived in Iowa, I spotted the most fabulously decorated tree along a downtown street. It was a deciduous tree decked out in colored christmas lights and every time I passed it I couldn’t stop looking at it. It was magical. There was something about it that made it stand out from all the others.
Finally, after closely inspecting the tree, I figured out what it was that made the tree’s look so special. The colored lights hanging on the tree were of two types – mini lights and large solid bulbs. The combination of lights created such a cool look that I had to replicate the effect!
The key to creating this look is to make your two types of lights as different as possible, while keeping the colors the same. I used mini colored lights and large colored lights.
Large Christmas light bulbs come in multiple sizes. I would suggest using size C9 – if you can. Mine are C7, but I wish they were C9. In case you haven’t already guessed it, all that C-talk is the bulb size! C7 means it’s a 7 watt bulb, C9 is a 9 watt bulb!
Also, I would suggest using the solid colored bulbs because the large clear bulbs look too much like the mini lights – so go solid!
Now the question – LED or traditional lights. LED mini-lights are very bright and what I choose to use. When it comes to the larger C7 or C9 bulbs, the traditional lights are brighter than the LEDs, but the brightness also dilutes the color of the bulb. I prefer to use the large LED lights because the color is greater and the electricity use is so much less. The picture below shows all LED lights both minis and C7s!
There is one more benefit to this mixed up Christmas light look! The large bulbs are clearly visible in the daylight hours, giving a nice look to your tree 24/7!