One of the biggest signs that the holiday season has arrived is seeing the lighting displays in everyone’s front yards. Over the years, the styles of holiday lighting displays have changed as new styles and technologies come in and out of style.
Decades ago, colorful lights were all the rage. Some people lined their homes with multi-color strands, and some even flashed on and off. Popular plastic figures were used to create scenes such as children building snowmen, carolers outside a home or even biblical scenes such as the nativity.
Then came the icicle lights crazy. These lighting strands hung down from the main electrical cord, creating the look of icicles hanging down from the edge of the roof. While icicle lights came in different colors, the most popular strand was the simple white color. It set off a years-long of trend of all-white lights on homes, one that still contributes to an extent today.
During this time, the reindeer trend came on strong. People loved staging these reindeer figures in their front yards, making it look as if the reindeer had just wandered by. These figures were usually wrapped in white lights, which made them stand out and fit nicely into the neutral white lights craze.
In recent years, LED technology has improved that many homeowners have replaced their lights with LED lights. LED lights last longer than traditional lights, which means homeowners won’t have to replace the bulbs as often. LED lights also don’t require as much as electricity to power, and that means a big savings for homeowners during this time of year. When homeowners pouring so much money into gifts, food and travel expenses, it’s nice to get a little break during the holidays. White and blue lights have been the most popular LED lights with homeowners.
Nowadays, it’s common to see inflatable figures in the front yards of many homes around Houston. These figures usually deflate during the day, but at night, they look fun and festive, especially with a spotlight on them. Homeowners have tons of options when it comes to creating the perfect scene. From classic Christmas figures such as Santa Claus and snowpeople to popular characters like Mickey Mouse and Snoopy, these inflatable figures gave homeowners more freedom to get creative with their outdoor holiday lights.
One of the coolest outdoor holiday lighting styles that homeowners are experimenting with is projected lights. These lights do not require ladders, clips or strands of tangled lights, so they’re easier to put up and take down, which can be a big plus when the weather gets chilly. The projects are usually of snowflakes and other wintery designs. Red and green combinations can be popular, but blue and white are also great for winter displays.
As you can see, the styles of outdoor holiday lights have changed and evolved over the years, but there’s one thing that’s never gone out of style with lighting: clean windows.
You’d be surprised how striking of an effect clean windows can have with your outdoor holiday lighting display, and you won’t notice until it’s too late. Imagine doing all the work of putting up an outdoor holiday lighting display — climbing a ladder to hang lights along your gutter, setting up your inflatable characters, programming your lights to go on and off at certain times — and then noticing how your dull, dirty windows bring the whole effect down.
Your outdoor holiday lighting display should be the toast of the neighborhood, but your dirty and dingy windows may bring the whole display down. Here’s why having clean windows can make such an impact on your outdoor holiday lighting display and what you can do to clean them before putting up your lights.
Reflect the light
You’ve probably heard the common interior design strategy of hanging a large mirror in a room to make it look bigger. The mirror doesn’t really widen the room, but it reflects the light in the room, making it appear brighter and bigger than it really is.
Your windows operate in a similar way when you have an outdoor holiday lighting display. All of that bright light shines against your windows, which reflect it back. If the windows are dirty, then the light just gets absorbed. It doesn’t bounce back out towards the street. Essentially, your lights are shining a little bit less because your windows are so dirty.
You put a lot of work into designing your outdoor holiday lighting display. You thoughtfully chose the right lights, colors and figures that would go well with the design of your home itself. Don’t let your style dim because your windows haven’t been washed for some time.
Too dingy to see
Some people prefer to forgo outdoor holiday lighting displays, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a lot of work to put the lights up and bring them back down in January. It’s a time-consuming job, and if you’ve rather be relaxing on the weekends, then the last thing you want to do is climb a ladder and mess around with tangled lights.
Instead, some homeowners prefer to put lighted figures in the inside of their windows. These displays can be seen from the street, but they’re much easier to set up and take down. The figures come in all shapes, such as candy canes and snowflakes, or sometimes, people put plastic figures of candles that sit on the base of their windows.
Both options can look festive and striking from the street — a minimalist display that doesn’t go all out but still gets into the holiday spirit — but dirty windows can bring the whole display down. When the windows are too dirty, no one is going to be able to see the lights from the street. They’ll just see a blur of lighting, but won’t be able to determine the shape or style. If no one can tell what’s in your window, is it even worth putting up a light at all?
Poor curb appeal
In Houston, you won’t really find a bad time to look for a home. Even in the wintertime, the weather rarely dips into the 40s, and people aren’t as concerned about being cold while carrying boxes into their new homes. Moving companies don’t have to worry about ice or snow on the ground, so there’s no problem with scheduling moves even in February or March.
While it’s true that most homebuyers aren’t actively searching for homes during the holidays — it’s just too hectic of a time for most people — they are still looking. During the holiday season, many homebuyers use the season to start scoping out the homes and neighborhoods they’d like to tour in the new year. If your home is already listed on Zillow or other realtor websites, potential homebuyers might take this opportunity to drive by your home and see what it looks like in person.
As they’ll be seeing your home all lit up with your outdoor holiday lighting display, potential homeowners will be the first to notice your dirty windows. Your outdoor holiday lighting display won’t look as bright as it could, and all those lights will draw attention to the fact that your windows are covered in dirty and grime.
Now dirty windows aren’t usually the reason why homebuyers skip over a home. All things considered, cleaning dirty and dingy windows is a fairly easy task. You, the homeowner, can either do the job yourself, or hire the professionals at Advantage Pro Services to get the job done right for you.
But dirty windows do make a first impression on others, and it can be a bad first impression. The outside of your home should get potential homebuyers excited for what’s inside. If they pull up and aren’t impressed with the outside, then your home is going to have to work harder to live up to the homebuyer’s standards. You don’t want to set yourself off on the wrong foot, so it’s better to keep your windows clean.
Think of it this way: Homebuyers are looking at a lot of different homes in the area. If it comes down to two homes — one with a clean outdoor landscape and bright windows and one with a nice landscape but dirty windows — the windows might be enough to push them over the edge and convince them to choose the other home.
Again, dirty windows aren’t usually a dealbreaker for most people, but for homebuyers who are going to have a lot of tasks and expenses coming up with a big move, it’s nice not to have to worry about this one little issue. No homebuyer expects a perfectly clean and shiny home when they move in, but most people prefer a home that’s a little more turn-key ready than not. If they have to do other bigger jobs like rework some wiring or remodel a bathroom, not having to wash the windows will be a relief. It’s small, but it can make an impact.
How to get your windows clean for your outdoor holiday lighting display
To really make your outdoor lighting display pop, you need windows that are clean inside and outside. Remember, both sides of the window can dull the light, so it’s important to do a complete job when cleaning your windows.
If you feel up to it, you can do the work of cleaning your windows yourself. For the inside windows, you can go through your house and clean every window with a household cleaner. This will be a time-consuming task, but for the windows at a reachable level, this won’t be too difficult. Of course, you might have to fight the streaks, but you can do a lot of the cleaning yourself if you’re up to it and don’t mind giving up an afternoon on your weekend.
But you might have trouble cleaning tall, floor-to-ceiling windows or even transoms above your front door. If you have a ladder and can fit it in your home, you could move it around as you clean your windows. This can be potentially dangerous because there’s always the chance of falling off the ladder. Some people decide not to clean the top parts of their tall windows, but when those outdoor holiday lighting displays go up, that dirt at the top of the window stands out because the bottom half looks so clean.
Cleaning the outside part of your window requires a ladder for nearly every single window, and it’s a major time-consuming endeavor. You could also hurt yourself falling off a ladder, and then your work is really going to cost you in emergency room visits.
Instead of trying to clean your own windows, it’s best to hire a professional to do the work for you. At Advantage Pro Services, we’ve been helping thousands of Houstonians get their windows bright and shiny for the holiday season for over 20 years. Our experts know how leave windows streak-free, and they’re ready to help you get your windows looking like new again.
With every job, we bring our own equipment, which includes ladders tall enough to reach your tallest windows and plenty of window cleaning fluids to make them all sparkle. We also specialize in cleaning the sills and screens so no dirt gets left behind.
Our window cleaning experts work closely with homeowners to develop a plan to get their windows shining like new again. Whatever your questions or concerns, our experts are ready to create a plan that fits your needs and delivers clean windows that will amplify your outdoor holiday lighting display.
We know that over time dirt and grime can build up and dull your windows, so we’re prepared to scrub your windows until they shine. We know how much you rely on your windows to give your home the best curb appeal, and over time, dirt and grime can cause problems with your windows. We want to prevent those problems.