ABC Blog

How To Showcase Your Home This Holiday Season

Selecting Holiday Lights That Are Right For Your Home

We love all the beautifully decorated homes in this city—especially during the holiday season. Don’t you? Whether they’re varied in color or snowy white, these arrangements put a smile on our faces.

There are many trends and options currently available to showcase your home before your holiday gatherings begin and your out of town guests arrive. Are you considering laser lights, or curious about what’s involved in setting your lights to music? We’ve compiled a list of outdoor Christmas decorating ideas to help you decide what options are the best for your home.

LED Lights

There are many benefits to LED lighting, so it’s no surprise more people are reaching for them instead of traditional string lighting.

For starters, they’re more energy efficient, using up to 90% less energy than traditional lighting options; one traditional bulb uses the same amount of energy as 140 LEDs. They also … Read Full Post »

Best Holiday Lights in Houston

Christmas lights in Houston

School has just started, and Halloween is still around the corner.

Savvy homeowners know that the first signs of autumn mean it’s time to start thinking about holiday light displays. To properly deck your home with lights and festive decorations takes time and planning.

To get you in the proper holiday spirit, let’s look at some of the best Christmas lights in Houston and the surrounding areas.

Public Holiday Light Displays in Houston

First of all, let’s explore a few noteworthy public displays in the area (some of these have an entry fee).

Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo (Hermann Park, begins in November): Each year the Houston Zoo hosts a dazzling light display with animal sculptures, lights in the trees and colorful projections. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.

Dickinson Festival of Lights (Dickinson, from Nov. 26 – 30, 2016): A free holiday light display you can walk through, with free parking … Read Full Post »

Backyard Beauty – Landscaping Ideas for Austinites

austin landscaping

Here at ABC Austin, we love the summer time. We’re suckers for a good backyard BBQ, weekend swims at Barton Springs, and of course, spotting the weird bugs that make their presence known around the city when the mercury is high.

But with the kids heading back to school and cooler temperatures (and evidently this year, lots of rain?) around the corner now is the perfect time to focus on a backyard redesign.

We’re ready to roll up our sleeves, be creative, and—finally—start working on a new backyard we’ve been dreaming of all summer long.

So whether you have a large yard or just a small space to work with, we have a list of ideas that are sure to get your green thumb moving. Here are a few of our favorites ideas.

Plant Local Varieties

Shopping local has become quite the fad in recent years—and why shouldn’t it be? Choosing local products is an excellent … Read Full Post »

Add Some Seasonal Glow With Holiday Lighting

Make your home sparkle this season with creative light displays

The holidays are coming up fast. Are you ready to hang your seasonal lighting? Get started with these tips for creating a display that adds a little flair to your San Antonio neighborhood.

Pick a Theme

Start by deciding what you want to convey with your display. Do you prefer simple and elegant, or would you rather go all out with every holiday decoration you can think of? Are you aiming for a colorful look or basic white accented with accessories such as wreaths? What you choose will determine the type and quantity of lights you’ll need as well as any additional pieces such as frames or stakes.

Draw Up a Plan

Once you’ve decided on a theme, sit down and sketch it out. Decide where you want to hang lights and how you want them to look. Generally, lights are used to outline the … Read Full Post »

Deck Out Your Landscaping for the Holidays

Let your great outdoors celebrate the season

Austin knows how to turn Christmas into a dazzling season, so why not put a special glow in your landscape this holiday season? Think beyond inflatable snowmen this year and turn your front yard into a holiday fantasy land.

Wrap the Trees

Threading lights through the trees always adds seasonal cheer to the front yard, but why stop at a few strings? Simple silhouettes of trunks and branches come alive when you wrap trees with brilliant strands of LED lights. Bottom-to-top trimming takes a little time, so you might opt for the easier effect of glittering icicles created from drapes of fairy lights. These tiny LED cousins are the size of rice grains, and their sway on an evening breeze brings magical life to the smallest saplings. Give tall evergreens and pines the full treatment with big, beautiful bulbs.

Trim the Shrubs

Shrubs might be short, but don’t … Read Full Post »

Celebrate the Season with Festive Outdoor Christmas Lights

Nothing makes your home quite as spectacular during the holidays as a dazzling outdoor lighting display. Whether you go with brightly colored rope lights or classic white icicles, lights always add that extra touch of cheer. If you love having a decorated home but aren’t looking forward to the hard work of hanging your holiday lights this year, consider hiring professionals to do the decorating for you.

What’s New in Holiday Lighting Trends?

Holiday lighting trends tend to change every few years. The blow-up lawn ornaments and tangled icicles of last year are giving way to new, sleeker lighting displays that make the most of sound and motion. You’ve probably seen spectacular timed displays on the local news or online. Professional lighting installers can easily create one of these stunning light, music and motion displays for your yard.

Bright colors are also in for outdoor displays. Don’t be afraid to go bold with … Read Full Post »

Make Santa Smile with the Best Christmas Light Display on the Block

During the holidays, thousands of Austin homeowners put up festive Christmas lights and decorations to spread good cheer throughout their neighborhoods. As lighting technology has improved, so have the quality and complexity of these displays. Good planning skills and help putting up lights are the only things that homeowners need to create outdoor displays that will truly impress.

Choosing a Lighting Display to Dazzle

You have many options when it comes to designing holiday lighting for your home. You might want to stick with classic red, green and gold. Maybe you want to try bright, eclectic lights for a more contemporary feel. No matter the type of lighting display you want to pull off, start by taking a good look at your home. Your outdoor decorations should fit the general architectural style of your space. Choose decor that won’t clash with your home’s exterior but will complement its look.

As you plan your … Read Full Post »

Beware Counterfeit Christmas Lights!

As the holiday season approaches, many Texans will buy new Christmas lights. Sadly, there are a number of serious risks associated with purchasing and installing these decorations. Counterfeit holiday lighting products can cause fires and electrical shocks. Faulty power cords and slippery roofs add to the danger.

Dangerous Lights

Counterfeit Christmas lights usually have poorly manufactured wiring. Although the lights may function properly, the wires can overheat, melt or catch fire at any time. It is often difficult for shoppers to identify counterfeit Christmas lights. Fraudulent brand names, certifications and seals of approval appear on many of the packages.

A variety of retailers sell counterfeit Christmas lights. Some store owners aren’t aware that counterfeiters produce the lights. Such items remain common at discount shops, flea markets and online auctions. Occasionally, they also turn up at yard sales and thrift shops. Some vendors sell them on the street.

Non-counterfeit Christmas lights can also be dangerous. … Read Full Post »

Avoid Injuries while Hanging Christmas Lights this Season

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a three-year study reporting that nearly 18,000 individuals were treated in emergency rooms for falls alone while hanging Christmas lights. It is important to note that this number only includes people who sought medical treatment at an emergency room. It is estimated that the true number of injuries is substantially higher; perhaps two or three times this number.

Common Injuries Include:

Every year, hospital emergency rooms treat roughly 12,500 people for injuries such as falls, cuts, and shocks related to holiday lights, electrical decorations, and Christmas trees. {U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)}

Nearly 6,000 emergency room patients are seen each season due to holiday decorating falls alone (CDC).

Over 200 fire-related fatalities and injuries happen during the two days of December 31 and January 1.

Design the look you want for your home this Christmas season safely from the ground with a free quote from … Read Full Post »