Who will do your outdoor Christmas lights?

Sure, it’s only October, but if you’re thinking about hiring someone to install your outdoor Christmas lights, now’s the time to act.

Fed up with hanging off a ladder, fingers freezing as you string Christmas lights on that blasted evergreen in the front yard or replace burned-out bulbs along the eaves? Maybe it’s time to call in the pros.

Design & tall trees

Ottawa companies like Christmas Decor, a division of Nutri-Lawn, do everything from designing a seasonal outdoor display to installing, maintaining and removing the lights.

“Our most popular service is definitely (decorating) trees,” says Darlene MacInnis, Nutri-Lawn’s marketing manager. “People aren’t able to reach as high as we can. We have boom trucks for that.”

Clients hire Christmas Decor to design and install lights on all kinds of trees, says MacInnis.

“We do traditional Christmas trees with brilliant lighting. For deciduous trees, we wrap lights around the trunk and branches or do the full canopy.”

The company also offers splash lighting, with bright LED bulbs used to uplight trees.

Designing and installing lights on a 30-foot spruce tree will typically run $1,500 and up at Christmas Decor. That price includes the lights and removal in January.

Other companies offer design and installation services. They include Christmas Lights Ottawa and GreenScape.ca. But note that for many companies, their schedule fills up quickly.

Simple installation

If you have your own design and just want your lights installed on a tree or your house, consider giving Ray Neon Signs a call.

“We can often put up lights for $160 to $200, but it depends on the job,” says representative Alain Bergeron. “It’s not expensive, and we can do the tree exactly the way you want it. It’s a service people appreciate.”

Removal of the lights after Christmas costs about the same, although homeowners often leave lights up year round because energy-efficient LED bulbs – now standard – are so small that they are barely noticeable unless lit.

What to look for in a service

If you are considering hiring a company to both design and install your holiday lights, ask if there is a free consultation to identify your expectations and give you a firm price.

Before hiring anyone, ask for references, proof of insurance for public liability and property damage, and evidence that employees are covered by workers’ compensation and have been trained in safety and fall protection.

You may also want to see if the company has lighted wreathes or other seasonal decor to give your home’s exterior some seasonal pop.

For the DIYer

Want to install your lights yourself?

Have a look at Loew’s how-to video for an overview, then check out the DIY Network  for advice from an electrician on how to do the job safely.


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Originally published December 2017.